Grief, Depression and Being Happy Again….
There are many similarities between grief and depression. Both issues can include deep sadness, inability to concentrate, seclusion and loss of appetite.
When these symptoms become prolonged or tend to worsen over a long period of time, this could be a red flag for sign of severe depression.
When I lost my son in 2003, I was paralyzed with grief. I cried incessantly and didn’t want to leave the house unless I was with my husband. After several months, I noticed that this decreased and I started to come out of my shell a little bit at a time. I found that talking with others and helping them through grief was the best healer of all.
When someone we love dies, our brains need to process the loss and we will go through many physical and emotional changes. When these changes are long lasting and becoming detrimental to our own well being as well as the ones around us, that is when the situation needs to be evaluated.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I sleeping more hours than I am awake during the course of the day?
- Am I avoiding all contact with others in the outside world?
- Am I using drugs or alcohol to numb the pain?
- Do I feel hopeless like life will never get better?
- Do I feel like I should end my own life?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be experiencing severe depression.
You CAN get through this. At this very moment, you may not be able to see the happiness that is ahead of you. But you are here on this earth for a reason. YOU have a purpose. Your loved one would not want you to use your time on this planet being crushed with grief.
In the beginning, you may feel guilty for being happy. I recall laughing at something shortly after my son died, and feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt. I thought, “How can I possibly be laughing when my son is dead?”… This went on for weeks, until I finally realized it was okay to enjoy life again. Yes, I am still heartbroken and twelve years later, I still cry for him. But I know deep in my heart that he wants me to smile, and he smiles from above when I do.
It is okay to be happy once again…. and it’s also okay to cry.
If you think you may be in a state of depression, please talk to someone you feel close to about what is going on and/or seek professional help from a local support group, a counselor or your pastor.