Grief – is it depression?

Here’s how you can distinguish grief from depression.

Despressed man with head in his hands

While grief and depression are not the same, they do share a few signs and symptoms – such as feelings of deep sadness, insomnia, poor appetite and weight loss – so they can appear similar. Nevertheless, there are important differences between them. Here’s how you can distinguish one from the other.

According to NHS Choices:

Grief is an entirely natural response to a loss, while depression is an illness.

People who are grieving find their feelings of loss and sadness come and go, but they're still able to enjoy things and look forward to the future.

In contrast, people who are depressed have a constant feeling of sadness. They don't enjoy anything and find it hard to be positive about the future.

If you suspect that you have depression, or if you have symptoms that significantly affect how you live, work or share relationships day-to-day, then it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible. You can also call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

To read more about depression and grief, visit beyondblue and NHS Choices.



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    11th Apr 2016
    Depression is when you are so far down that the only other direction you can go than further down is sideways.
    Margaret Thompson
    11th Apr 2016
    Major depression is when you are so far down, in the blackest place imaginable, the only thing you can think of is not existing (and how to go about not existing). There is no direction, only blackness and the unbearableness of being.
    11th Apr 2016
    How true Maggie, I suffer from major depression which is the worst thing, I have been there many times thinking of whether to end it all, only this weekend I felt like that but my wonderful brother came to my aid and pulled me out of it. When you are alone it is the worst feeling but I know I have to reach out when I need help and not be so proud to ask whether it be family a counsellor or lifeline (for example). I know there are so many people with this problem and as one going through it is scary but I have one thing that does keep me going on and it is the "Serenity poem" of being able to change things when you can and being able to know the difference when you need to change, so whatever it takes always know there is hope.

    May I say though to who ever sets out an article such as this about depression it may not be advised to put an advertisement for White Lady Funerals as much as they are a great business they are it doesn't help to have that in view.
    11th Apr 2016
    The fact that the difference between grief and depression even has to be explained shows just how far we have gone down the road of medcalising normal human responses to life's events. In doing so, it risks doing those who genuinely suffer from mental illness like chez, a total disservice. A bit like the 'boy who cried wolf', and we know what happed to him in the end.
    11th Apr 2016
    The Talk-Back on the Radio this morning was about SUGAR causing Depression among other things ?? I've cut My Intake to One Small Pinch of Sugar per Cuppa ! :-( How much do they pay these Scientists to say something Disgusting about Anything they want to apply a Super Extra Tax to ?

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