Can bereavement cause depression?

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. 

Two heads of a girl crying.  Text - Break the Negative Cycle

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: 

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • misery
  • 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.  

Related Pages: 

Can Bereavement Cause Mental Illness? 

Can Bereavement Cause OCD?

Can Bereavement Cause PTSD? 

Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home

  • 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.  
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Self-Help Hypnosis Downloads

Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind and help you cope with your grief. We recommend Hypnosis Downloads which have been created especially for those who are grieving by qualified specialists in medical hypnotherapy.

Choose from this list of grief and loss tracks for your specific type of loss.  


Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the USA and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.

Only available in the USA. 

For Memorial Trees within the UK, click here

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