Coping With Depression/Losses
In our society, not all losses are openly acknowledged.
Losing a job, chronic illness, the end of a relationship, and
unfulfilled expectations can all generate depression or grief
reactions. Yet we're uncomfortable expressing our feelings when others
don't offer much support. Grieving and depression can also be cloaked
in secrecy. How can you know if you're symptoms are severe enough to
warrant help? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Symptoms of depression
- Depressed mood.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or
almost all activities most of the day everyday.
- Significant weight loss or gain when not dieting, or
increase or decrease in appetite every day.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation (observable by
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or
inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or
indecisiveness, nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, not just fear of dying,
recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or suicide
attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide.
Have you experienced any of these recently: death of a
relative or friend, end of an important relationship, a severe illness
or disability, job loss, disruptive relocation, realizing that you
haven't fulfilled you dreams - such as a "midlife crisis", or a change
in roles - such as children leaving home or caring for elderly parents?
Symptoms of grief
- Do you go from feeling up to feeling down in the same
- Are there specific events that seem to trigger
feelings of sadness?
- Does crying come and go in cycles, and is it related
to memories of loss?
- Have you had any vivid dreams of your loss?
If you answered "YES" to most questions, you are
experiencing depression and/or grief. That's normal human reaction to
loss. As you acknowledge and process you loss, the depressive symptoms
should become less intense. If you feel overwhelmed - or that you have
no support -counseling can help you recover.