• Susan L. Williams

They Say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sometimes words cannot express our grief or our sympathy. At those times art can show us what words cannot.

Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity's Gate) by Vincent Van Gogh, was painted in 1890 in Provence, France. Van Gogh finished his painting in the spring when he was recovering from a severe lapse of health. About two months later he committed what is thought to be suicide.

For me, Van Gogh captured the unyielding weight of grief's depressive nature. Such depression can harness a soul for years. I know because this happened to me.

I have experienced various stages of depression, and had a lot of counseling. However, when my husband was killed a darker shade of depression closed in. The depression was episodic for years. I was aware of the effect of depleted serotonin levels, but did not take it seriously. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin. Thankfully my current husband saw what was happening, drug me to a doctor and I finally accepted a medication that made a remarkable difference, and I am happy to say the light came back into my life and for the most part stayed. Thank goodness most people do not need medication in their battle with grief and depression, but as someone who does I am so very thankful I received the help I needed.

Fortunately, there are now communities of people working together to help folks through the darkest of days. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one research what is available in your community. Seek family resources, churches, online and local grief recovery groups, therapists and workshops. In the small town where I live there are an amazing number of people who specialize in grief work. You may be surprised by what you find.

Life is so very short and untreated and prolonged grief has a profoundly negative impact on the quality of one's life. No one should be subject to endless suffering.

Here is a website that defines grief versus depression. I hope the information is helpful.


Excerpt from A Very Well Mind


How Grief and Depression Are Similar

Grief has several symptoms in common with the symptoms of major depressive disorder, including intense sadness, insomnia, poor appetite, and weight loss. In fact, the symptoms of grief and depression can appear remarkable similar.

With grief, it is normal to experience sadness and to cry. It is normal to experience changes in sleep patterns, energy levels, and appetite. It is normal to have difficulty concentrating and to have moments of anger, loneliness, and more. A difference, however, is that these feelings usually begin to debate over time. That is, unless, someone develops complicated grief.

What Is Complicated Grief?

Complicated grief, unlike uncomplicated grief, does not seem to dissipate with time.

Symptoms of complicated or chronic grief may include intense sadness, anger, or irritability. A person may have difficulty accepting that whatever caused her grief really occurred. She may focus excessively on the episode of grief or not face it at all. She may engage in self-destructive behaviors or even contemplate or attempt suicide.

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