Beating the Black Dog

Beating the Black Dog

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Point Cook church members recently hosted a four part series on understanding depression, facilitated by Pr Andrew Kapusi

Winston Churchill famously referred to his recurring depression as that black dog.  The illness could render him bedridden, wallowing in a sense of hopelessness and despair.

For many people, both within our church and in the wider community, depression is a debilitating condition, with organisations such as Beyond Blue finding its resources stretched to breaking point in responding to the desperate need in our society.

The Point Cook Community Church’s mission is to serve their local community, so recognising this growing need, the members invited Pastor Andrew Kapusi, a registered health therapist with Nedley Health Solutions, to present four seminars on how to understand and deal with depression, both as a sufferer or a support person, in a world that is becoming increasingly tumultuous, placing enormous pressures on families, resulting in the increasing emergence of mental health issues.

Throughout the course of the program, Andrew presented practical steps for dealing with depression, explained that depression is a physical illness resulting from a chemical imbalance in the brain and reminded his listeners to seek advice from health professionals or get a second opinion, and touching on the need for medication or supplements, given the seriousness of the illness.

Further, he drew attention to the need to live a healthy lifestyle, avoiding alcohol and other stimulants, and to have a support group ensuring that you don’t become socially isolated.

Importantly, Andrew alerted the audience to our tendency, when depressed, to ‘catastrophize’, and the need to change our beliefs to a more positive and affirming rendering of our experiences.  Some will know this practice as cognitive emotive therapy. 

As a follow-up to these sessions, Point Cook will be running a number of workshops at the Saltwater Community Centre, where attendees will work through the material supplied by Andrew.  As he pointed out, there isn’t an overnight cure for depression – it requires persistence and support to chain up the black dog and live a fulfilling life physically, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually.


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