The unpredictability of grief

Two cases of how differently grief can affect people – and some helpful advice on how to deal with it

By MIKE GROPPER
February 28, 2013 11:32
4 minute read.
sad people

sad people . (photo credit: MCT)

 
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Grief is an unpleasant but necessary emotion that people feel as a result of loss. Individuals may suffer from grief following the death of a relative, a close friend, a colleague or any person who is significant in their lives. Many bereaved individuals cry, feel depressed, have trouble sleeping, lose their appetite and very often lose interest in doing things that they previously found pleasurable.

Although the aforementioned symptoms can also be signs of clinical depression, grief reactions and clinical depression are in fact very different. Grief may increase and fade over time; the sadness may be present one day and then not return for days, weeks or even months. On the other hand, symptoms of clinical depression remain fairly constant and impair a per- son’s ability to perform daily activities, i.e. work or household responsibilities. And, although many people go through their bereavement time without requir- ing any professional intervention, there are times when professional counseling can prove helpful, as in the case of providing treatment for a grief-induced clinical depression or to help deal with a grief reaction that causes significant discomfort.

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