The symptoms of grief and depression are very similar. Depression is
often used to describe the profound sadness that is a natural human
reaction to grief and loss. The symptoms of grief are very similar to
those of clinical depression:
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Interruption of sleep patterns (either sleeping too little or too much)
- Change in eating habits (eating more or less than usual)
- Roller coaster emotions
times people suffering a normal reaction to a significant loss go to their doctor for help with the symptoms of grief. They are
often given antidepressants. However, many experts now believe that this treatment may
interfere with the normal grieving process.
National Co-morbidity Survey (published in The Archives of General
Psychiatry, Vol. 64, April 2007) observed more than 8,000 subjects and
discovered that as many as 25% of grieving individuals diagnosed with
depression were sad, but not clinically depressed. The study noted that
these subjects would benefit more from supportive therapies that may
prevent the development of depression.
Supportive therapies can include talk therapy, support groups, grief coaching or Grief Recovery groups. By talking about and processing the emotions around grief, many people find their hearts less weighed down by sadness, guilt, regret and other painful feelings.
Symptoms of grief can include physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social manifestations in addition to sadness or depression. Click here for more information on grief symptoms and how to deal with grief.