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5 Stages of Grief - Depression

Experiencing a loss can be traumatic, bringing on a wide range of emotions and grief. Through the Kübler-Ross 5 stages of grief, we have come to understand how grief unfolds within our lives. Depression, one of the 5 stages, is a bleak and challenging stage; however, it is necessary for the healing process.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is The Depression Stage Of Grief?
  2. How Do I Cope With Grief-Related Depression?
  3. How Can I Help Someone Experiencing Depression?

What is the Depression Stage of Grief?

Depression brought on by grief, known as bereavement-related depression, should not be confused with major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression. While many symptoms overlap, there are important distinctions between the two. If you are experiencing symptoms of clinical depression, you should seek counsel from a certified mental health professional. Of course, a professional in the field can also be of assistance if you are struggling to deal with bereavement-related depression, as well.

The Dana Foundation writes that the DSM-5 – the authoritative handbook used by healthcare professionals in the US to assess and diagnose mental disorders – emphasizes that bereavement-related depression typically centers around the loss. It is the profound sadness that you feel as a result of your loss. It’s typically unavoidable and must be experienced in order to be overcome.

Typically, bereavement depression wanes over time, though it can turn into major depressive disorder. This can occur, for instance, if one falls into prolonged isolation patterns, Harvard Health Publishing writes. This is why it’s critical that proper coping methods are undertaken. If you are supporting someone undergoing grief-related depression, you can offer your support to ease their progress, as well.

When experiencing bereavement-related depression, it is important first to recognize these feelings and allow yourself to feel them. It is natural to feel depressed during the grieving process, and a loss of appetite, irregular sleeping patterns, and feelings of sadness should all be expected

When experiencing bereavement-related depression, do not expect to return to your daily life, as it was before your loss, all at once. Take things slow while paying special care and attention to your energy levels and emotional health. Expect grief to ebb and flow. Some days may be easier than others.

Harvard Health Publishing writes that, when experiencing bereavement depression, one should resist prolonged isolation and instead seek out a support network. It is okay to need help taking care of yourself for a few days, a few months, or even longer.

Some people experiencing bereavement related depression found that medication like antidepressants helped restore their sleep schedule, their appetite, and made it easier to cope with heavy emotions. Others, however, found medication to be too emotionally numbing and interfered with their grieving process. Medication is not one-size-fits-all treatment, and it may take time to find the right coping plan for you. Only with the help of a trained mental health professional can you determine whether medication is the right fit, and if so, which type would most help you.

How Can I Help Someone Experiencing Depression?

Depression can be difficult to pin down. Many might not realize they have been experiencing depression until they are in the thick of it. This is why it’s particularly important to check in with the bereaved after the hubub of a funeral has passed to ensure they are moving through the process of healing. If you notice that their behaviors are abnormal to an extent you find concerning, you should speak up.

In addition, try to have a heart-to-heart with the afflicted individual. Ask them how they’re doing and if there’s anything they want to discuss. Simply being there for them can be tremendously helpful if they are going through grief-induced depression.

If you think that you or someone you love might be experiencing a major depressive episode, feel that your feelings of depression significantly interfere with your ability to perform vital daily functions, or experience suicidal ideation, reach out for professional help immediately. 

If you or someone you loves have had suicidal thoughts or actions, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their site for an online chat. You can also visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) site for a list of resources.

Titan Casket is dedicated to providing you with all the answers you need when it comes to planning a funeral and coping with your grief-related depression. We can also help you when it comes to buying a casket, removing this burden so you can focus on healing. 

We are your trusted ally in planning the funeral you want at an affordable, fair price. Contact us via our chat window or here on our contact page to get started.