The loss of a child brings significant pain to us as parents but also throughout the whole family; Sisters, Brothers, Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents for example. And everyone of those family members will grieve very differently. You will find that you experience many varied emotions including anger, guilt, sadness and shock, and it may also feel that these emotions will never leave you. Although these feelings can be totally overwhelming, they are perfectly normal and all part of the grieving process; they allow you to cope with the pain and potentially help you heal so that you are stronger to move forward.
However, distinguishing between grief and depression is not easy as they both share many symptoms. Grief is very much a rollercoaster of emotions; good days, bad days; a variety of feelings. Depression on the other hand is where the feelings of dispair and helplesness are constant and you may also find thoughts of suicide, worthlesness, intense sense of guilt or an inability to function either at work, home or school. The extreme feelings you experience are so bad that they interfere with your daily life.
If you recognise the symptoms and think that they may relate to you in any way you should talk to a health professional immediately. Don't keep these feelings to yourself. Complicated grief and depression left untreated can lead to emotional damage; but with help you can get better.
Click here to visit the NHS Choices website to take a quick test to help assess if you may be showing signs of depression. The test is purely for information only and not intended to be a professional diagnosis.
Remember that depression is not a weakness, it can happen to anyone, no matter how strong they think they are.
We have listed some national support groups below who will be able to offer advice and support; but we would also strongly recommend that if you have any feelings you believe could be associated with depression you must also contact your GP straight away.
Depression Alliance UK
Our national network of self-help groups enable people affected by depression to share experiences and coping strategies with others in similar situations.
Our range of leaflets, publications and posters offer in depth information about depresion and how it affects every day life.
"Depression UK" (D-UK)*, is a national self help organisation that offers support to help its several hundred members cope with depression. These members may suffer from depression, or have suffered from depression in the past, or care for those who have the illness. Their anonymity is strictly preserved.
Depression UK has operated within the United Kingdom ever since it was founded in 1973. It was registered as a charity in 1979. This trusted organisation is run independently of the NHS by a team of 15 or more unpaid non-professional volunteers who work mainly from their own homes.
The charity is entirely self-funding, has no commercial links, employs no staff, and has no office headquarters.We wish to help anyone who is troubled by depression and to provide support for their carers. This illness does not discriminate against a person because of their age, race, creed, colour, culture, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or economic and social status ‒ and neither do we!
We are both a local and national network. Through this network we work with around 250,000 people every year. We are able to help people who experience all types of mental distress, and who may require help from one or more of our services.
People who experience mental distress are always at the very heart of our work. We listen and make sure their voices are heard by those who influence change. We demand higher standards in mental health care and challenge discrimination wherever it occurs.
OvercomeDepression was formed to offer a unique reference point on beating and coping with depression.
Whether it's a mild case of anxiety, or a deep, protracted period of sadness, depression can cause us to shut down. One in four of us will suffer from some form of depression at some point in our lives, so if you are lucky enough not to suffer from depression, the chances are you know someone who does. Overcome Depression is here to help.
If you are a sufferer, a friend of a sufferer, or just wish to know more about this all-too-common yet debilitating condition, our site will be able to provide you with the information you need.
In addition to providing advice on how to detect and diagnose depression, we also discuss how and where to get help for yourself and others, and ways to get your life back on track after recovering.
"Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before" - James Buckham