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.
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.
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Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.
The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day!
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