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Dealing with a Death When You Already Suffer from Depression


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Mar 15, 2017

Dealing with a Death When You Already Suffer from Depression

You know that depression is sometimes a part of the grieving process, or rather that some people experience depression as they grieve. As we've discussed previously, that is a type of situational depression that tends to fade or heal over time, as bereavement mellows into nostalgia and the worst of the grief dissipates. What happens when you already suffer from depression and experience a loss, however? Mental health plays a critical part in bereavement. Individuals who have some form of depression go through an intense range of emotion following a death.

Your Depression May Double Up

Your preexisting depression doesn't make you immune to situational depression. It doesn't inoculate you. This, unfortunately, means that you may end up dealing with double layers of depression, one of which is situational. Knowing that the situational depression will pass doesn't really help at the moment, but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Still, you can't equate the two depressions. One has nothing to do with the other, beyond the fact that your existing depression may make your grief-inspired feelings that much more intense. However, because they are not connected, please don't attempt to self-medicate or diagnose. For example, if you're on medication for your depression, you can't take more of it in a bid to treat your situational depression. That's dangerous, and you'll only harm yourself.

Keep Your Feelings in Perspective

The depression you already have will sharpen the emotions that come with grief. They'll seem stronger, your reasoning will seem surer, and you'll convince yourself that these feelings are real. They are not. For example, the guilt that comes with grief may seem deserved. It's not. As you go through the grieving process and hit each phase, keep them in perspective vis a vis your depression.

Seek Support

Find support wherever it's available. Reach out to your family members and trusted friends. If you have a counselor, a therapist, or a psychologist, alert them to how you feel. If you don't have someone like that to talk to, then perhaps it's time to make an appointment.

You will get through this, but it's hard, painful, and sometimes it feels like it will break you. That's why it's critical that you don't go through this alone.