Friday, May 22, 2015

Dealing with Grief and Sorrow Part 5

According to the Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief, one of the stages is bargaining. I have a problem accepting this as a phase of grief or sorrow when someone loses a loved one in death. We can’t “bargain” to change the results after death. Any chance of change is gone. Therefore, I’m skipping this step as a step a person experiences as a loved one is ill, injured, or slipping toward death, rather than one experienced after death.
       Next on all lists is depression. Depression occurs in everyone who suffers a loss of any type, and the loss of a loved one definitely causes depression, sometimes a mild case, sometimes a major case, but always an emotion that comes with grief. Also, bouts of depression may come and go over a long period of time.
       So, what is “normal” depression after a loss, and what becomes a major problem? Everyone grieving has spells of crying, deep sadness, a feeling of loss and confusion. However, most of us find a way to climb out of the dark hole and function at least much of the time. Yes, we feel helpless and hopeless at times, becoming less often as time passes, but we must find our way out of the dejection back to our “new normal.”
A few ways to overcome the natural depression cause include: 1.  find new interests or return to previous interests
2.  enjoy memories of our loved ones  
3.  spend time with friends and family.

Indications depression might be a major problem:
1.  Constant thoughts of being worthless or hopeless
2.  Ongoing thoughts of death or suicide (other than thoughts that they would be better off dead or should have died with their loved one)
3.  Being unable to perform day-to-day activities
4.  Intense guilt over things done or not done at the time of the loved one’s death
5.  Delusions (beliefs that are not true)
6.  Hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there), except for “visions” in which the person briefly hears or sees the deceased
7.  Slower body responses and reactions
8.  Extreme weight loss

The article on the web site suggests that if previous symptoms last more than two months without any improvement, professional help may be needed.
Depression isn’t a condition to be hidden or of which to be ashamed, but if we can’t work our way out of our temporary times of depression due to loss, we need to seek help.
I have periods of depression, personal pity parties, I call them. I allow myself a certain length of time to feel “down” and in some darkness, time to feel sorry for myself: a day, a certain number of hours. I then make myself find something constructive to do, even if it’s mopping floors. I may not be able to control the timing of the bouts of depression, but I can control the amount of time they last. No, not everyone can do what I do – part of the time, and I can’t always set the length to any specific number of hours. However, I have learned what to do to break that cycle.
Now, why can’t we choose which effect of depression we want and time it to last just the right number of pounds to lose? Laughter is a good way to break the depression cycle.

1 comment:

Holly Jahangiri said...

The biggest indicator of real depression - for me - is the complete loss of interest in things I normally enjoy. The feeling that my "give a damn is busted," as the song goes. When you get to the point where you think you probably KNOW (intellectually) how to break the cycle, but can't muster the give-a-damn and would rather just lie down and take a nap and not be bothered to do it, you need help. Whether that's medication and/or talk therapy is something to talk to a qualified therapist about. But I think that when it comes to grief - when you have a very specific reason to be depressed - it's more likely talk therapy is what's called for, if it's not a normal, clinical state. You know what I mean? Depression with no particular cause is a different sort of creature. When someone says, "What are you sad about," and the honest answer is nothing, I'm not sad, I just don't feel like doing anything, including getting dressed or taking a shower - that's a whole different sort of depression. I think BOTH sorts have a physical component.