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Depression vs Greiving??


lilsunny
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My life is a real mess right now. Been dealing with this thing called depression since last year, and it has been a rollercoaster of a ride to put it mildly. Then I lose my husband to a massive heart attack at the age of 49 while he was at work. That has now been 2 weeks. I am so down and tired, I dont know which way is up anymore. I still see my counselor, more so now since my world got turned topsy turvy. When will the grieving end? Is the grieving for my husband all tangled up in with my depression? My meds are of no use, for I find myself crying all day and night, I dont leave my room much. I just want to be left alone right now.

Thanks for listening.

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Good morning lilsunny,

This, of all pains, is likely the deepest, most enduring and most difficult experience one can have. I've never lost a spouse or child, but have lost other family along the way... it never is easy, but the pain does subside over time. Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience, and it's even more so when it's intertwined with an existing depression. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time and healing happens gradually--- forcing it is of no use and neither is ignoring it-- and there certainly is no “normal” timetable for grieving (unless you're reaching into the years). Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years (but this is not actually very normal). Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Meds can help, but all they seem to do is mask the required grieving process and postpone it. Equally tough to see is that extended grief counseling for many has been found to prolong the process. It may also result in those who are grieving to experience their loss as more painful, more depressing, and more traumatic, for a longer period of time (taken from post 911 studies). All to say that therapy can be therapeutic, but too much therapy can be counterproductive.

Some things that could help might be to set a weekly goal (e.g., get out and meet at least 10 new people, go to dinner 2X this week, see two close friends during the week, read 2 books during the week, etc.) and then set another one for next week, and keep this us for 1-2 months to keep you active and prevent isolation and further deterioration. I'm so, so very sorry for your loss. I hope this helps.

Edited by David O
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Thanks David for your thoughts. I am having a hard time dealing with the loss, he was by far my biggest support and friend. My life expeirences suck, nothing but pain there, and well I have lost both grandparents and a brother. Coping skills at the moment I am at loss, I try to talk to our friends, but they are all couples and now it feels strange not being well a couple. I did allow myself to sleep all day today, did not have the desire to get up and I have not allowed myself to do such since I found out about his death and had to deal with all of that. I feel somewhat better, though I could sleep some more. I even had to say no to my councilor who called to let me know she had a spot open for me today, I did not have the energy to even think about getting up to go and told her that it was just a bad day for me. I did fix meals for my kids and my parents whom I am staying with, so kuddos for me there. Could be that it is now three weeks to the day of his death. Could be I just want to stay in the bed with the covers over my head because I was hurting to much. Could be I am just too tired to care anymore at this point in time. Doc wants me to go to the hospital... did that once...I said no... I am to tired and dont want to deal with someone wanting to wake me up at no 6 am to get ready for breakfast and then go go go.

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Lilsunny, I am so sorry for your loss. You said that you have a counselor to talk to, but do you also have friends or family to support you during this difficult time? I can't even begin to imagine the pain you must be feeling right now. I have never experienced such a devastating loss such as this. I understand that it must be even more complicated when you have already been depressed, but perhaps it is okay to allow yourself these emotions right now. Grieving is a long road to walk on with many bumps along the way...and one that you will find your own path with taking. I just hope very much that someone is there for you to hold your hand through the dark days so you may find your way to the brighter ones. And the brighter ones will one day come, though it may seem impossible right now. It has been helpful for me when my mother passed or I have lost a friend to write and talk about my feelings. You can always do that here if you find it to be helpful in any small way. We're here to listen to anything you might want to express. Take care and be very gentle with yourself.

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Dear lilsunny,

I too am very sorry for your loss. I would like to get an opinion from David O and others about the period of grieving. I know there is no 'normal' timeline for how long one should grieve, but is 2 years really too long? I have not had a loved one close to me die, but I have grieved the loss of other important things in my life (girlfriend, parents divorce, job loss). I am still having a hard time with the job loss. I was fired in March 2008, so it's now 18 months and I still am angry, hurt, and depressed about it. I know a fomer colleage who was laid off from the same school about year ago and he is even more sore and depressed.

PP

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