Can Bereavement Cause Depression?
by Elizabeth Postle, RN, HV, FWT
Grief can cause depression but the sadness of grief and depression are not the same thing.
Everyone who is grieving will be sad, and emotions are triggered by memories, songs, places and anniversaries. But after a while, memories become bittersweet and it can be a pleasure to look back on happy times.
Grief should not stop you from being able to function, to work and to enjoy the company of friends even if there are times when you are very sad and need to have a good cry.
Some people, however, can tip over from the sadness of grief into depression and sometimes severe debilitating depression can be caused by grief especially if the loss was sudden, traumatic or caused by violence or disaster. The anxiety and heartache of loss should not be taken lightly.
It helps to understand what is normal grief and what is depression so you know when to get help.
We have recently published a page which lays out 65 common reactions to grief. You can have a look at those here, or just check out the image below.
You might experience any combination of a few or many of the above reactions. All of that is perfectly normal. But if they go on for a long time or start to disrupt your life, you many find that you can tip over into depression.
Some signs of depression can be:
Physical signs such as:
- feeling tired all the time,
- run down,
- having aches and pains
- either sleeping too much or too little
- you might have gained or lost weight.
Feelings such as:
- lack of motivation
Other symptoms such as:
- Negative thoughts and lack of self-esteem
- Not going out
- Unable to work
- Not seeing friends
- Smoking, drinking, taking drugs or eating too much
If you have any of the above signs or symptoms and they last more than a couple of weeks, consider consulting a doctor or counselor.
Sadly people who have never suffered the loss of a close loved one do not always understand your pain and will not be able to help. Depression needs the help of an expert professional. Get help and counselling if you feel you are not coping well. It is time to care for yourself.
We recommend online grief counseling from BetterHelp's highly qualified expert counselors. You can read more about how it works here.
Can Bereavement Cause Mental Illness?
Can Bereavement Cause OCD?
Can Bereavement Cause PTSD?
ARE YOU A BEREAVED MOTHER OR FATHER?
We are two bereaved parents who have teamed up with researchers at Yeshiva University and Memorial Sloan Kettering to study how the death of a child impacts parents’ lives, and the resulting ripple effects as life continues without our children. We invite you to participate in a survey which will help us develop resources to better support parents experiencing the heartbreak of child loss.
For mothers or fathers who have lost a child (or children) of any age, and would like to make a contribution to our understanding of bereaved parenthood, this is a way to make a difference.
If you would like to participate in our study, please fill out this confidential survey at https://yeshiva.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cUXcBDFIiWAg6Ng It will take about 20 minutes.
For more details, you can contact the Principal Investigator:
Kailey Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University.
Thank you for your consideration --
Judith Kottick, LCSW and Jean Singer, PhD
IRB Approved at the Study Level, May 10, 2021. #30499052.0
Have You Considered Online Grief Counseling?
Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home
The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.
Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward? It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life.
Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.
- Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you. It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.
- Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.
- Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone.
- You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
- Click here to find out more and get started immediately.
- Or read more about how online counseling works here.
Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.
Memorial Jewelry to Honour a Loved One
Check out our lovely range of memorial jewelry for any lost loved one. Pendants, necklaces, rings or bracelets, we have them all in all kinds of styles. Choose for yourself or buy as a sympathy gift.
Click here to see our selection
Hypnosis for Grief - 10 Ways It Can Help You
Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
Read more about it here.
Create an Online Memorial Website
Honour your loved one with their own memorial website. Share photos, videos, memories and more with your family and friends in a permanent online website. Free for basic plan with no ads.
Find out more here.
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