Updated: Aug 28
When someone you love dies, the grief can bring depression and make day-to-day tasks seem impossible. If a loved one's suicide provoked your depression, he is not the only cause of your feeling low.
This article will give you 12 ways to deal with such feelings of grief depression. These twelve methods are designed to help combat mild to moderate depression arising from grief and may be combined as needed until they meet your individual needs. Remember that it's important to continue with psychotherapy during this time, too! Keep reading for more information about coping skills for grief and depression by asking for help or attending support groups and the 5 stages of grief depression.
1. Accept the possible long-term consequences of your feelings
You feel guilty for feeling down, even though your loved one may have done something at the time of death that led you to feel this way. But many people feel these feelings for years after a loved one's death and can remain depressed. Dealing with feelings of guilt or self-blame is often helpful. You may be able to accept that these negative emotions are normal reactions to an extreme loss.
Acknowledge the reality of your grief by talking about it. An important part of this acceptance process is letting others know how much they mean to you, including those who died in a suicide. It's important to tell them how you feel and what you need in a way that lets the other person know how valuable he or she is to you.
2. Talk about the pain of your grief openly
Tell someone else about your losses, especially if it's difficult for you to talk about. Usually this means talking about the pain, guilt, and anger associated with what happened. Letting out your feelings will help make you feel better in the short term as well as in the long run. The more open you are all at once, the better off you'll be. It's easy to say too much or too little at times like this, so look to friends and family for help down the road when necessary.
3. Start off with some self-care
It's important to avoid staying in bed, eating too little or too much, or neglecting your health. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and keep up with your regular doctors' appointments and skincare routines. If you feel depressed as a result of insomnia and are finding it difficult to make time for yourself each day, take advantage of the time you do have by doing something that helps you relax.
4. Make sure you have support
You're probably not the only one who is dealing with your losses. Reach out to others who can give you advice and help you voice your thoughts and feelings. This may be a friend, a relative, or someone at work, but it doesn't matter.
Ask your friends and family for feedback on how they think you're doing. Whether a loved one committed suicide or died as the result of an accident or other cause, many people are willing to listen to their friends about their reactions. Ask them how they'd feel if they were in your shoes, what would make them feel better, and what types of things would help them cope with the situation in general.
5. Try to give yourself some "me" time
It's important to get to know yourself again and figure out what does and doesn't make you feel better. Give yourself as much time as necessary to be in your own company, reflect upon your losses, and get back on track. Just being alone can help you think more clearly or allows you to slow down and process the things that have happened. Taking some time each day for yourself can help renew your strength, re-energize your mind, and restore balance within.
6. Start with a new hobby
Once you have time for yourself, it's important to do something to fill that time. This can be as easy as reading a book, watching a movie, or taking up a new hobby like painting or woodworking. The idea is to give yourself something fun and productive to do during your alone-time.
7. Get out of your own head
It's natural to think about your loved ones a lot after they've died. But as much as you want to remember them and be with them, you'll eventually find that they're gone and want to move forward. You don't have to give in to this feeling; it's okay if you want to be with your loved ones forever, or if you want life without them. There are many good reasons why the immortal soul doesn't really exist, but it helps if we feel we can at least go back and visit in some form of spiritual afterlife. If not, remember that everything will eventually die—including the memories.
8. Reach out to people who know and love your loved ones
Even though the person you lost may have led you to feeling depressed, he is not the only cause. There are people out there who have known your loved one since childhood or even longer. They may be able to give you information or advice that can help you cope. Start with them first, then move on to other people when you feel comfortable sharing.
9. Stay focused on what's important right now
Once an issue becomes so large in your mind that it destroys everything else around it, it's difficult to focus on anything else but the problem at hand. Don't allow yourself to get so caught up in your thoughts that you can't do anything else for a while.
10. Consider getting a pet
If you don't already have pets, it may be a good idea to get one to help take your mind off what's bothering you. Remember that animals aren't usually depressed when they aren't around their owners. When you're looking for a pet, be sure to do some research before making your decision.
11. Join a grief support group
When you're dealing with intense feelings and emotions, it's important to surround yourself with other people who are going through the same things and are willing to talk about them. First of all, try to find the difference between grief and depression. After that, there are many different kinds of grief support groups, and you may find one that is right for you.
12. Consider taking therapy/counseling
It can be helpful to talk with a therapist about your feelings or your losses. If therapy is the best option for you, it's important to find a therapist who will listen and not treat you as if your feelings are somehow abnormal. You have every right to have whatever feelings you have, even if they're different from what others expect them to be. Choosing depression and grief counseling could help to recover fast.
There are many different ways to cope with your losses. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so you will have to figure out what works best for you. Try to avoid any of the ways that you know won't work and instead strive for improvement through all of them.
If you need help, there's nothing wrong with reaching out to others for support. Remember that the people who are most likely to give you the best advice about coping with your loss are close friends and family members who have gone through similar experiences before or friends who can relate in some way because they know how it feels dealing with grief and depression from someone else's perspective.