What is the difference between grief and depression?
Grief is a natural response to any loss and includes physical, emotional, spiritual, behavioral, and cognitive responses. Each person will experience a unique response that may include the following:
*Crying *Change in sleep or appetite *Difficulty concentrating *Fatigue or weariness *Isolation, loss of interest, avoidance *Loneliness *Anger – at self, others, the deceased, God/Religious Entity *Feeling hopeless
Grief usually resolves with time and may come in waves. Triggers like a loved ones’ birthday or your anniversary, or going to a wedding after your divorce can cause feelings to resurface.
Though major depression and grief share many of the same symptoms, there are important differences. Significantly differing symptoms are:
*Feelings of worthlessness *Exagerated guilt *Low self-esteem *Feelings of powerlessness
In major depression, these feelings are unremitting. Daily functioning at work and home are impaired over a longer time-period, and the individual feels as though they will never climb out of these feelings.
Allan N. Schwartz, PhD, reminds us that “Diagnosing people with any mental illness is complicated and fraught with danger if the wrong diagnosis is made. That is why, if you are grieving but it seems to continue for too long, it is necessary to seek help. In addition , if there is any doubt, it is best to seek hep. Beyond this, it is normal to grieve after the loss of a loved one. After all, grieving is not easy and it is not abnormal.”