Grief is something everybody will go through at one point in time. When we lose someone, we grieve that loss. There are healthy ways to handle grief just as there are unhealthy ways to handle grief. If handled unhealthily, grief can lead to serious depression.
Five Stages of Grief
When going through the grieving process, there are usually 5 stages someone goes through.
The five stages of grief do not have a set timeline. Some people may experience one stage for weeks, while others may only experience it for a few days. These stages are important steps to help us learn to live again after a tragic loss.
When experiencing a stressful change, some people may experience adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorder may also be called situational depression.
Symptoms of adjustment disorder are similar to those of clinical depression. Some of these symptoms include feeling sad, lack of interest, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, appetite changes, feelings of being overwhelmed, and suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Adjustment disorder is not the same as clinical depression. One difference is that adjustment disorder is only temporary; symptoms of the disorder typically go away within 6 months.
Adjustment disorder is also not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-traumatic stress disorder is typically caused by a very traumatic event such as a violent death or life-threats to one’s self. It is important to note that PTSD also may not present itself until a longer period has passed, whereas adjustment disorder is typically presented within 3 months. PTSD also has longer lasting effects than adjustment disorder.
Coping with Adjustment Disorder
Having to deal with any life-changing experience, especially one that causes adjustment disorder, can be stressful and confusing. Here are a few coping mechanisms that may help:
These are only the basic coping options for dealing with adjustment disorder. Creating a treatment plan can be very effective to helping one through their rough time.
Risk of Depression
While experiencing symptoms of depression is normal when grieving, there comes a point where one risks developing clinical depression. There are many ways to prevent this from happening.
If someone isolates instead of getting help or support, this is the biggest factor in leading to depression. It is very important to reach out and get help.
The main methods of preventing adjustment disorder turning into clinical depression is by seeking help. Mental health professionals are the best option for this. Therapy comes in many forms and there are many medications that can help prevent someone from falling into depression.
Grief is a hard thing for anyone to handle. If you or someone you love is experiencing grief, contact us at Serenity Mental Health Centers to talk about your options.