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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORMAL GRIEF AND CLINICAL DEPRESSION

depressionThere is a recognized difference between normal grief and clinical depression by mental health professionals. Dr. Therese Rando expresses the difference in Grief, Dying and Death stating, "depression and despair are common reactions to important losses." Click onto this website to see how Dr. Alan Wolfelt lists distinctions between normal grief and clinical depression:

www.aarp.org/griefandloss/articles/37_a.html

GRIEF

depressionGrief is the normal reaction of responding to a loss, and the process of grieving usually involves expending physical and emotional energy. A loss can be due to a death, a divorce, an ending of a job or anything involving a separation from someone or something important to an individual. A grieving person may feel extremely tired, find it difficult to concentrate, become withdrawn, or experience symptoms of depression. The following article may be helpful to you or someone you know to assist in understanding the grief process:

www.atimetogrieve.net/dart_griefprocess.html

How Long – What to Expect – When will It All Make Any Sense?

Is there a pattern that may represent similar behaviors or emotional expressions in people? Click onto this website to view four stages of mourning that people may experience after a loss.

www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/pdq/supportivecare/bereavement/patient/page6 . After the reorganization phase, people tend to accept the loss and see their life in a more positive light again. Accepting does not mean forgetting; it simply means attempting to direct energy into different areas.

Duration can be from an average of six months or longer, depending on the situation. After the death of loved one, it is not uncommon for symptoms to last one or two years, while coping and adjusting to a different life.

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE GRIEVING PROCESS

depressionDo women and men tend to handle grief differently? Both genders appear to feel the impact of grief, but tend to express it differently. This may be due to differences in the socialization process - women tend to be more expressive of their emotions and men tend to be more restrained. Here are a few websites that address gender grieving differences:

www.indiana.edu/~famlygrf/units/gender.html

www.griefandrenewal.com/article5.htm

www.griefandrenewal.com/article6.htm

HELPING A GRIEVING FRIEND

Do you find it difficult to know what to say to a friend who has suffered a loss? Sometimes the words don't come easily, or they don't seem to comfort the one we are trying to help - what is that all about? Here are some tips on what to say and what not to say when comforting a friend. Click onto these websites:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/helping_grieving.htm

http://www.geocities.com/wilsfordmindy/whattosay.html

RESOURCES

There are many places in the community where people who are mourning a loss can receive assistance. Help is available from family doctors, mental health specialists in community mental health centers or private clinics, and from other health professionals. Qualified mental health professionals can help the individual find ways to heal. For further assistance on campus, call the Counseling and Psychological Services Center at (714) 278-3040 for an appointment.

 

 

 

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