Grief is an intense feeling of sadness that can occur following loss. The most commonly recognized cause of grief is the death of a family member, friend, or acquaintance. Furthermore, however, grief can be triggered by any loss whether big or small. For instance, the loss of a pet, moving away from a childhood home, going through a divorce, or suffering a serious health injury, are all occurrences that can cause grief. There is no right or wrong way for an individual to experience grief and everyone will have to take their own unique road to recovery. The length of the process and how emotionally painful it is, will also differ somewhat based on the type of loss that has been experienced.
Other factors that can influence how an individual experiences grief is their age, financial situation, cultural background, and the support network they have access too. Ultimately, every individual has two ways of dealing with grief. Some individuals may find themselves unable to cope with the pain and ignore or deny that anything has occurred. By acknowledging that a loss has occurred, learning the various reactions of grief, and progressing through the stages of grief, however, the griever can recover. Dealing with factors blocking the healing process, getting help, acknowledging the unique needs of children dealing with grief, and using healing resources are also likely to be part of the grieving process. With time, recovery is possible.
Depression appears to be more common in women than in men, but this might be because women are more inclined seek treatment for depression. Depression begin as early as one’s 20s or 30s. The cause can be brain chemistry, inherited traits, hormonal, or triggered by certain situations.
How do I know if I am depressed or sad?
Depressed individuals have a constant feeling of sadness and loss. These thoughts affect day-to-day activities and, if severe (major depression), a feeling that life may not be worth living.
Symptoms: Loss of interest in all normal activities, loss of interest in pleasure, change in appetite (increased or decreased), change in sleep (increased or decreased), feeling of worthlessness or fixation on past failures, blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility, outbursts over small things, agitation, restlessness, frequent recurring thoughts of death or suicide, difficulty thinking or making decisions, unexplained physical problems. An estimated 9 million Americans suffer from depression.
Depression in children and teens: What it might look like (some of what follows may be normal in adolescents) irritability, sadness, clinginess, excessive worry, refusal to go to school, weight loss, unexplained physical symptoms (e.g. stomach aches), feeling of negative self worth, poor attendance and/or grades, eating or sleeping too much or too little, avoiding social interaction, self harm (e.g. cutting), and substance abuse.
Older adults: Memory or personality changes, physical aches and pains, sleep issues, fatigue not cause by medication or medical issues, social isolation, suicidal feeling and thinking (predominantly in men).
Depression can be helped with medication and psychotherapy.
Prevention: If feeling suicidal – Suicide Hotline – 800.273.8255. Call doctor. Reach out to family, friend or spiritual leader. Seek mental health specialist.
If someone you know who has spoken about suicide or made an attempt, stay with that person, call 911 or other emergency number, and take person to nearest ER.