Dealing with depression is hard enough with the ups and downs that come with it but nothing can cause a slump quite like the death of someone close to you.
The hardest part of coping with the loss of a loved one is the range of emotions that death brings. Anger, sadness, frustration and the constant questioning of whether you could have done more whilst that person was alive are all doubled when depression kicks in, especially if you was already on a downward curve.
That is how depression works though, it waits till your most vulnerable and strikes. Where you think you are strong it pinpoints the exact place where it can hurt you the most and the trick is to try and fight back, or at the very least hold on to something that can stop you being swept away by the tide.
Easier said than done though isn’t it…
When someone dies it is so easy to find yourself sinking. Mourning the loss of someone takes your attention away from your own issues and while the distraction can be welcome at times, it can also cause you to miss warning signs that are usually right in front of you, signs that would let you know that the bad days are returning.
The following information comes from Bereavement Advice Centre and can be found here
The effect of grief
At times you may feel overwhelmed by the emotions you experience and some of them such as anger can take you by surprise. Grief is the normal response to the loss of someone we love and many people experience numbness, periods of intense weeping and sighing, anger, anxiety and apathy. Some people may find they have difficulty sleeping or lose their appetite.
Everyone’s reaction to grief is unique, and different people in a family may experience different emotions, even when they are mourning the loss of the same person.
Some people find trying to keep to some kind of daily routine helpful but this can be very hard when there is no longer someone there to make an effort for. If your life partner or a parent or child has died, every time you have to do something for the first time without them is very difficult.
This emotional pain is normal and is not a sign of mental illness although sometimes people who are grieving do also become depressed. If you have experienced mental illness in the past do not hesitate to seek help from your GP if you feel you need it.
Often many of us are able to put on a brave face to people around us except those we are very close to (especially if we have to return to work), but it helps if there are some people we can be totally honest with. This is when organisations set up by people who have been bereaved themselves or by people who have training to help them understand the experience of grief can be very helpful.
Over time the less bad days do begin to outnumber the really bad days although this may feel impossible to imagine at the beginning. Many people find inner strength that enables them to come through this experience still very much missing the person who has gone but able to remember them and enjoy life again.
Here is a little Moose tip for dealing with the loss of someone..*
Celebrate the life they had, the impact it had on you. Spend less time on feeling sadness of their loss and more on being grateful that they were in your life in the first place.
It is okay to mourn, to feel sadness but they would not want you to slip back down to rock bottom.
Remember the times you laughed together, the special moments you had between the two of you.
Regain your strength and use their memory to inspire you to recovery.
* Just because I have given that tip it doesn’t necessarily mean I am following my own advice!
Above all else though the best thing you can do is TALK about that person, share your memories with others who are grieving. Holding everything inside is a one way ticket to an explosion of emotions that will overwhelm you and that can be harder to cope with than any feelings of grief.
A person may have moved on to another place but their spirit can be kept alive by you! By talking about that person you are more likely to share happy memories which will make you smile.
Now if only I could follow this myself…..