The word “Depression” has three distinct uses. The most common way we use the word is to mean that we are sad. In overly dramatizing an unpleasant emotion, we may sigh and say, “I am soooo depressed.” No, you are having a bad day. In psychological terms, “Depression” is a medical condition characterized by long term sadness, lack of energy, inability to sleep, or a need to sleep too much, a lack of appetite or binging. This “Depression” can require medication to treat. In grief, depression is considered to be one of the stages or conditions we pass through on the way to our new normal. We may have symptoms similar to clinical depression, but we know that the cause is the loss we have experienced. Medication usually is not necessary, but it can be helpful to talk with a therapist, grief support group or pastor for help. When the days come when it would be easier to pull the covers up over your head and stay in bed, it is okay to treat yourself gently. Recognize that this desire is a normal part of grief. You may not feel like eating, or you may snack on everything in sight. These are normal parts of grief. The depression caused by grief will usually pass over time as you heal. Sometimes it is necessary to ask for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You are strong. You are a survivor. Seek the help you need. Be kind to yourself; you deserve it!

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