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Eugene Dufour

“I have been medication free and depression free for several years now. I am doing the things that I am passionate about,” says Eugene Dufour.

Eugene is a counsellor and psychotherapist who specialized in bereavement and trauma therapy. He suffered from such a deep depression and level of anxiety that at one point in his adult life he was incapable of working. He was in fact incapable of doing much of anything. His life changed from being a respected clinician and sought after keynote speaker to spending up to 20 hours a day in bed. Day after day he worried that he would never be well again.

Eugene came to CMHA for help during his depression and was assigned a case manager. He had tried every kind of anti-depressant but nothing worked. He entered an 8 week program at Homewood Treatment Centre in Guelph but that also failed to bring about any significant change. Eventually his doctor suggested electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This involves a series of treatments that send electrical currents to the brain. ECT is used on less than 2 percent of people who are depressed and only in extreme cases where nothing else has worked.

“It saved my life. I wake up every day now and feel grateful to be alive. It feels great to be able to offer compassionate care again to my family and the people I work with and to myself.”

ECT has a stigma all of its own. In recent years ECT has evolved and been shown to have a higher success rate for severe depression than any other form of treatment. Eugene has been back at work for a number of years now. He feels good with a deeper perspective on life. He published a book, Embracing the End of Life: Help for Those Who Accompany the Dying, which was published in 2012. This man who once relied on CMHA for support now offers them direction and support. He served as President of the Board of Directors and remains a board member.

“I am feeling so good. I wanted to give back something to the community. I also feel an obligation to speak out in a frank and public way to help break down the stigma of depression.”

Eugene' book he published, Embracing the End of Life: Help for Those Who Accompany the Dying.