Bereavement and depression
Everyone grieves at his or her own pace. Bereavement expands across all areas. This can even include the loss of a pet. Bereavement differs for all people and ultimately you have to grieve for the time that is right for yourself. The sooner you return to your normal activities, the better you are.
Bereavement can be a complicated process for many people and differs between cultural groups as well as between individuals. Symptoms of grief can look the same as symptoms of major depression. Death of a spouse is extremely stressful and often precipitates a major depressive episode. Defining the start point of such an episode in the context of bereavement can be difficult. Generally speaking, after an undefined period, a process toward moving on begins. Funerals and memorial services are ritual-based events that help provide a sense of closure for many people to help them recover from their grief. If there is no evidence of efforts toward this recovery, with poor functioning in work and/or relationships persisting, then the presence of a clinical depression is more likely. If suicidal thoughts occur, perhaps associated with wishes to be with the spouse again, depression that requires treatment is likely present. In such circumstances, it is best to seek professional help. It may be difficult to convince the grieving person to go for an evaluation, but helping set up the appointment, attending the appointment, and even insisting that consultation be sought can be useful. Again, if suicidal thinking is believed to be present, going to a local emergency room may be necessary if treatment interventions are refused.