“Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one, you let go of things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of who you are and build again.”
– Rachael Remen
Grief encompasses a broad range of emotions and behaviors that are common after experiencing a loss. There are similar patterns that are descriptors of “normal” grief:
- Somatic or bodily distress of some type
- Preoccupation with the image of the deceased
- Guilt relating to the deceased or circumstances of the death
- Hostile reactions
- The inability to function as one had before the loss.
One major distinction between grief and depression is that in depression as well as grief you may find the classic symptoms of sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance and intense sadness, but in a grief reaction, there is not the loss of self-esteem commonly found in more clinical depressions. Grief also slowly decreases over time, with the exception of certain triggers like memories of a loved one or certain dates like birthdays and special holidays, whereas the symptoms of major depression are more persistent.
Indicators of major depression in contrast to grief include:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Significant difficulty carrying out normal daily activities
- Guilt that it isn’t related to the death of a loved one
If you believe you are suffering from either grief or depression, it is important to seek professional help. A licensed counselor can act as a listening ear as well as provide advice and resources to help you. Anchored Hope offers counseling services in a caring and confidential environment. Contact us today to learn more!