When Does Grief Become Depression?

By: Louis Bruno
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Grief and depression may seem similar, but they are two different things. Grief is a sense of loss and sadness you experience after a loss. It is natural for people to feel depressed and listless after a loss. However, most people can recover and regain their natural enthusiasm eventually. At Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home, we encourage people to look out for warning signs of grief turning into long-term depression. Here are some signs to look out for:

1. Persistent Feeling of Sadness

Grief fades away slowly with time. People start feeling better and become more active as days pass. This can take time as different people have their ways to deal with loss. However, if you experience a persistent feeling of sadness that shows no sign of abating, you may have depression. This isn't a sign of emotional trauma caused by the loss but a chemical alteration in the brain.

2. Grief Can Intensity Depression

Severe grief can intensify depression in patients who have already been struggling with it. Depression can exist in the background without impacting a person's lifestyle significantly for years. An abrupt loss of a loved one can trigger it and make the major depressive disorder worse.

3. Struggling with Suicidal Thoughts

Grief can make people wish they had died instead of a loved one, but it rarely leads to suicide alone. Other triggering factors can compel a grieving individual to consider it. Depression is one of the major contributing factors to this. If you're struggling with both grief and depression, seek help immediately after noticing suicidal thoughts. These can escalate without warning and cause serious health problems if left untreated.

If you want to know more about grief, memorial services or cremation, don’t hesitate to contact us at Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

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