Depression after Bereavement

Depression after Bereavement

The mental anguish caused by bereavement is immense and at times may feel all consuming. It is totally normal to feel anger, depression, frustration, fear, sadness, loneliness, happiness, relief, lack of motivation or denial. You have to accept that for a while you are going to experience a range of emotions and that facing rather than avoiding them is the best way to move on.

  • If your friends or family are also grieving it may be hard to talk to them but being honest with friends and family means you can enlist their support when you need it the most. They can be invaluable on both an emotional and practical level and this may also give them a chance to talk about how they feel.
  • If this isn't possible you can talk to your GP, a member of the clergy or a counsellor. Talking through your problems can give you the clarity you need to move forward. Hiding your feelings just means that you have to deal with them at a later date and you may get stuck, unable to move on with your life.
  • If you notice symptoms of depression then you should talk to your GP. These symptoms can include sleeplessness, over eating, lack of appetite, over dependence on alcohol or drugs, palpitations, thoughts of suicide or self harm, general low self-esteem, inability to communicate or avoidance of communication or lack of social interaction. There is no shame in feeling down after a death and you don't have to suffer in silence. The Depression Alliance may be able to help you.
  • Your mental health is linked to your physical health. There are things you can do to look after yourself. Maintain a healthy diet, watch your alcohol intake, take regular exercise and find new activities to give you focus.
  • Sometimes the best support you can receive is through advice and information from other people who have experienced bereavement. You can chat with other people who are going through the same experience as you on our forum.

Other useful organisations with expertise in offering emotional support include:

If you're in severe emotional distress the Samaritans are there for you 24 hours a day. They offer 24 hour confidential support, call 08457 90 90 90 or email: jo@samaritans.org.