Grief and Depression
What Can Get in the Way of the Healing Process?
There are factors that may impede or slow down the healing process following a death or loss. They include:
- Avoiding emotions
- Compulsive behaviors
- Minimizing feelings
- Overworking on the job
- Self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, or other substances
What Factors Might Help Resolve Grief?
Here are some tactics that can be used to help resolve grief:
- Acknowledge and accept both positive and negative feelings.
- Allow plenty of time to experience thoughts and feelings.
- Confide in a trusted person about the loss.
- Express feelings openly or write journal entries about them.
- Find bereavement groups in which there are other people who have had similar losses.
- Remember that crying can provide a release.
- Seek professional help if feelings are overwhelming.
What Can I Do if my Grief Won't Resolve?
If grief continues and produces a prolonged and deep depression with physical symptoms such as poor sleep, loss of appetite, weight loss, and even thoughts of suicide, you may have a condition known as complicated grief and should talk with your doctor as soon as possible.
Sometimes, a major depression can develop along with the reactive depression associated with grief. Whereas depression as part of a grief reaction may subside after several months, major depression is a medical disorder and requires treatment to be resolved.