Is Depression a Natural Response to Grief?

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Emotional depression is everywhere in the News, magazines, and advertisements for antidepressant drugs. The message is that depression is an illness that needs some kind of treatment.

Unfortunately, things are not that simple when it comes to grief and depression.

To begin with, depression when grieving may not be an illness at all. Rather, it may be a normal and natural response to the loss of your loved one.

In fact, it may be an illness not to be depressed. It may be that holding back and not grieving is more harmful in the long run than letting yourself grieve and accepting that it may cause depression until you get back on your feet. Your depression is not a sign of weakness and there is no reason to be ashamed of it.

By allowing ourselves to fall apart and grieve we set ourselves up so that we can get our lives and ourselves together in a new way.

Having said all that, depression can be an illness if it goes awry and if its intensity becomes chronic. Clinical depression often begins with an incident that you never completely pull out of and you go through life behaviorally disabled. Your judgement is easily influenced by pessimism and the decisions you make are often self-defeating.

If you simply don’t know whether you are depressed or not, it would be wise to consult a professional. Remember being depressed does not necessarily mean that you need treatments.

There are a few things you can try on your own:

  1. Try to focus on the positive to regain a healthy view on what’s still right in your world.
  2. Choose a confidant, someone you know to be empathic and truthful, and share your feelings.
  3. Get out – make those phone calls, see friends and be active because it helps your healing.
  4. Eat a healthy diet and try to get a good night sleep.
  5. Exercise, even if it is just a 30 minute walk three times a week.
  6. Try to gain some spiritual support. Studies suggest that people with faith, through prayer, have lower incidences of clinical depression.
  7. But if the above steps are not enough, do not hesitate to get professional help. Therapy’s aim is to identify critical issues and give you the sense that you are once again in control of your life.

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