Grief and Depression
What Can Get in the Way of the Healing Process?
Some things can impede or slow down the healing process following a death or loss. They include:
- Avoiding emotions
- Compulsive behaviors
- Minimizing feelings
- Overworking on the job
- Misusing drugs, alcohol, or other substances as a way to deal with emotional discomfort
What Things Might Help Resolve Grief?
These tactics can help:
- 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've 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 Go Away?
If grief continues and causes 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 bereavement. Talk with your doctor as soon as possible.
Sometimes, a major depression can develop along with the normal feelings of depression or sadness linked with grief. Whereas normal sadness as part of a grief reaction may subside after several months, major depression is a medical disorder that is different from normal grief, can occur at any time (even in the immediate aftermath of a death of loss), and requires treatment to be resolved.