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700590 tn?1279945879

Grieving vs. depression

I am absolutely devastated.

I have text book signs and symptoms of a serious depression BUT in reality, I'm grieving the loss of a friend. She died yesterday and I feel empty. I'm aware of how easy it would be to shift from grieving the sudden death of someone I loved, to slipping into a deep, dark depression; perhaps this time, never coming out of it. Yes, it's early days and I know it will take time. I also mindful of getting enough sleep, exercise, eating well, taking meds etc. etc. but I am soooooo heavy-hearted and in many ways just want to give into the sorrow and sink to the ocean floor.

How will I know I've crossed the line from grieving a loss to being clinically depressed?
9 Responses
1167245 tn?1353882100
I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Last May, my best friend and roommate was hit and killed by a car when walking home to our apartment. I noticed that the feeling of grief was so similar to clinical depression, but profoundly different at the same time. It's hard to describe, but the pain felt horribly raw instead of draining and numb, I suppose. It sounds like you're making sure that you're taking care of yourself during this unbelievably difficult period, which is very good. By continuing your healthy patterns of eating and sleeping, it's entirely possible that you won't lapse into a depressive episode. Grief is something that never entirely disappears, and you need to be patient with yourself. When possible, remind yourself that the immense pain you're experiencing right now is normal. If you feel up to it, try to reach out to your loved ones and spend some time with others, talking about your friend, or talking about anything else.

I still struggle every day with the loss of my friend, and it's still hard to for me to imagine my life moving on without her. I know what you mean when you say that you're not suicidal, but you just can't conjure up a desire to fight right now. I had a lot of support during the first months after her death, and I had people who made sure that I ate and slept and took my medication. I took summer courses, which gave me a distraction and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, I did slide into a terrifying mixed episode a few months later, but it's hard for me to pinpoint whether or not my grief was a catalyst for that. The past year has just been a blur of feeling awful for one reason or another, so...

It's just such a hard thing to deal with, and I'm so, so sorry that you're going through this.

585414 tn?1288944902
Actually the loss of a friend or any emotional trigger for that matter can set off an episode of depression. Rather than trying to analyze any feelings you have its best to discuss them with a therapist and just call to your psychiatrist's attention what happened in your life. You are doing the right thing to see if events happen that are signs of depression in your life. Other than that its best to acknowledge the loss in your life and talk about it with those people you feel comfortable talking about your life with in general.
Avatar universal
That is a normal reaction.  I am very sorry for you and thinking of you.

The hardest thing is to grieve properly you have to 'feel your feelings'  in fact i believe the more you cry in the beginning, the more natural the grieving process.  Slowly after a few weeks, you will find an hour where you do not think of your friend and slowly over time this will extend to a day.

I am one year after a loss, I forget a lot of the time now, but then suddenly i have 'grief bursts'  which come on me for no reason.  This is normal, i sit and cry and cry.  It gets better.  I had bereavement counseling.  Google  Kübler-Ross, on grieving and recognize how it goes.  The only way through it, is through it.  

Don't be so hard on yourself.  And talking to people, ??  They don't want to hear, at first you find sympathy, but then they cant cope and make you feel like 'you should be over it now', but you are not.  Good luck.

I wish you well.
Avatar universal
There's sort of a blurry yet at the same time definite line between just depression and major depression which I don't understand in full but everyone I ask who knows about depression tells me this.  As far as I know normal depression is a normal response the mind has to trauma or a bad situation in general while clinical depression is the next step up and can happen for no reason which is diagnosed if it has lasted for at least two weeks and for a certain period of time after an event such as bereavement.  I would ask the therapist or psychiatrist like ILADVOCATE said if you're wanting to know out of learning curiosity like me.  I also believe major depression also causes things like the inability to even get out of bed while depression doesn't go quite that far but I wouldn't be able to tell you from my own experience as I never experienced a sadness so great my daily functioning was hindered because of it.

It is hard to tell when people are referring to depression and major depression as the terms are often used interchangeably but I was led to believe everyone no matter who they are gets at least depressed at least once in their life.
700590 tn?1279945879
I thank all of you for your kind words and suggestions.

I really don't know if I can go on without her. I don't know if I can fight to stay "well". It would be so easy to give in and give up. Please recognize that I am NOT suicidal... absolutely NOT at all! This is just how I feel right now and it's distressing.

1255530 tn?1269871219
I will keep you in my prayers. It's tuff for anyone to loose someone so close. Keep a support system around you to help talk about how you feel and get in touch with your doctor so he can decide whats best for you. Hope you can get to feeling better soon I know it feels impossible and I cant imagine how you feel but you can always come here for support along with your doctor and friends and family. Hang in there {{{hugs}}}}  
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