Friday, 13 April 2012


Losing a loved one can be emotionally traumatic, leaving you feeling depressed and isolated. Most often, depression related to death or related to a severe or sudden loss is known as grief. If you are suffering from death-related depression, or grief, contact your health care provider for help. Grief Medline Plus states that grief is a painful and unpleasant emotion associated with a major loss or death. Even people who are diagnosed with a chronic or fatal illness may begin grieving. According to the National Mental Health Information Center (NMHIC), grief can last as long as it takes to come to terms with a loss. For one person, it may only take a few months and for another, it could take many years. Symptoms The symptoms and signs of grief are similar to depression, though they are classified differently. Health website the Help Guide states that sadness is the most commonly felt emotion surrounding grief. You may cry often, feel dejection, sorrow or a deep loneliness. You may have other symptoms such as anger, fear, guilt or shock and disbelief. The Help Guide also says that grief is sometimes accompanied by physical symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion, nausea, weight gain or loss and pain. Stages of Grief Knowing more about the grieving process can help you cope with what you're feeling. It is believed that each grieving person goes through a set of stages, in no particular order or duration. According to Medline Plus, the stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. A person may go through these stages simultaneously or flip quickly between them. You may feel angry that your loved one passed away for a split second before crying and feeling depressed. Coping with Loss The Help Guide says that the most important step in coping with death is to get support from family, friends, clergy or other support groups. Talking to a therapist or grief counselor can help you work through any issues, unresolved emotions or underlying causes that you might have in relation to your grief. You also need to take good care of yourself, despite how you may feel. Taking care of your physical needs will help you as you grieve. The Help Guide suggests being creative in expressing your emotions and feelings by writing a letter, making a scrapbook or putting together a photo album of your deceased loved one. How Grief Compares to Depression According to the NMHIC, grief does differ from depression. With depression, you will feel a lack of interest in activities that used to bring you joy, altered sleep patterns, loss of appetite and weight loss or gain, feeling hopeless, feeling guilty, thoughts of suicide or death, lacking energy or anxiety. These emotions can also be part of the normal grieving process, but if they do not subside, it's important to get mental health help.

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