Depression Due To The Death Of A Loved One: What It Is, Symptoms And Treatment

Depression due to the death of a loved one

Depression is one of the most complex concepts in the field of mental health Not only does it appear in a wide variety of forms and symptoms, but also, as occurs in practically all mental disorders, there is no single cause that triggers it.

However, of all the possible experiences capable of promoting the appearance of depressive symptoms, it is known that the death of a loved one is one of the most frequent. This is a relative frequency, since the majority of people who must deal with grief over a loss of this type do not develop depression; However, in some cases psychological help is necessary.

In this article we will see what is Basic information about depression due to the death of a loved one and what can be done to deal with this in the best possible way through treatment from mental health professionals.

What is depression due to the death of a loved one?

Let’s start with the basics: is this a different type of depression? It must be taken into account that the idea itself that there are several types of depression is somewhat controversial. In practice, these classifications are used to better describe each of the cases with which we are working, but that does not mean that there are different mental disorders that, beyond some common characteristics, have little to do with each other.

In the case at hand, depression due to the death of a loved one, it cannot be considered to be its own entity as a mental alteration, but rather a specification of what has been one of the main triggers that explains how it has arisen.

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Thus, depression due to grief It can be experienced in as many different ways as there are different ways of experiencing depression in general Despite this, there are a series of general aspects that are usually met. Let’s see what they are.


One of the great myths about depression is that it essentially consists of a sadness so intense that it causes a lot of psychological pain enough to significantly damage life or even encourage the appearance of suicidal thoughts.

Although there are cases in which people with depression feel that way, there are many others who experience it in a completely different way and who do not exactly feel sad. The most characteristic thing about depression, whether due to the death of a family member or friend whom you loved very much or due to other causes, is the inability to feel joy, excitement or in some cases even pleasure, and lack of initiative and motivation to do the most basic activities.

The inability to feel pleasure, or anhedonia, appears automatically, and has nothing to do with our way of thinking about life or existence itself: it is not necessary to be extremely cynical or critical of society and the world to feel it, since its nature is irrational, beyond the limits of reason and language

Avolition, or lack of initiative, also arises in a similar way. It does not appear because intellectually we do not find reasons to feel motivated by something, but rather it is expressed as a symptom without further ado, without the need for us to have had to reach any conclusion.

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The treatment of depression due to the death of a loved one should always be carried out by mental health professionals, who in turn must also make a personalized diagnosis. The fact that we feel very bad after the death of a friend or family member does not mean that we can assume that we have depression; We have to wait for what the specialists who handle our case tell us That said, it is also good to know that in some cases it will be recommended to combine psychotherapy with pharmacological treatment, and in others it will not.

The drugs relieve the symptoms, but a few doses do not make the discomfort go away. Psychological therapy is the one that can best help us accept the death of that person and want to reintegrate into a world in which we can no longer see or interact with them. So, the main goal of therapy is acceptance

How to achieve this? This is not a battle that we can do alone, and it is not something that depends only on the therapist. You have to let yourself be guided by the professional who carries out the psychotherapy, and work together. For example, part of these tasks have to do with cognitive restructuring: the review of our deepest beliefs to discard those that do not adapt to reality and harm us, to replace them with others.

Other tasks will also be indicated that have the main objective of not allowing us to fall into passivity and a lifestyle far from all activity. This is what behavioral activation work consists of widely used in the treatment of depression.

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On the other hand, the role of the patient’s family and close environment is also fundamental. Grieving the death of a person you loved is much more bearable if you have the support of other people with whom there is a personal and intimate bond.