What to Expect
Grief & Guidance
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It is quite common as we experience the heartache and confusion of grief to also experience depression. Although depression has been viewed over the years and treated as mental illness or weakness it is important to understand in your grief journey that feelings of depression, loneliness and isolation are not signs of weakness, but actually beneficial of honest and acknowledged grief.
This intertwining of grief and visible signs of depression is very common. Although commonly experienced in unique grief journeys, it is important to mention here that grief embraced in depression can become quite complicated; often taking a path of denial referred to as clinical depression.
We have provided a guideline of symptoms and behavior associated first with normal and expected grief compared to the complicated signs of clinical depression.
Normal grief responds openly to the comfort and support of others;
Clinical depression does not accept support or will not respond to help or encouragement.
Normal grief can relate feelings depression to the loss experience;
Clinical depression cannot relate feelings of depression t any particular life event (especially to the loss of a loved one).
Normal grief can still experience other moments of joy or enjoyment in life in spite of the overwhelming grief;
Clinical depression will exhibit an all-pervading sense of doom in all of life and will not acknowledge a moment of enjoyment.
Normal grief can express guilt over certain aspects of the loss of the loved one;
Clinical depression experience in silence very generalized feelings of guilt.
Normal grief expresses temporary loss of self-esteem;
Clinical depression exhibits feelings of deep and on-going loss of self-esteem.
Should you suspect clinical depression within yourself or in someone that you love, it is critically important that you take steps to get help. Healthy and shared grief, even with feelings of depression for a short period of time, will produce hope and a positive grief journey. Clinical depression on the other hand needs the care of a professional to assist in the direction of your journey. Please take good care of yourself, your friends and family. Call for help if clinical depression is observed. If left untreated, this depression can increasingly raise your risk for a number of health issues, emotional issues, and very importantly will prevent you from moving forward in life and through your unique grief journey to reconciliation. It has been the witness of many grief stories who have fallen prey to clinical depression that testify” I remained weak and helpless in my grieving soul, hiding in the darkness of my home trying to remain strong and courageous: true courage rescued me the day I pulled open the blinds to my darkened home, caught a glimpse of sunlight on my face and reached out for help”.
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