Grief Depression: What to Do When the Color is Gone | The Grief Toolbox

When the Color is Gone“I eat. He drinks. I talk. He doesn’t. We both go through the motions, trying to somehow be strong for our other kids. Every day is an uphill battle,” Mandy shared.Mandy and Mike’s son Marcus had been looking forward to college for years. He was a serious student, who also loved to party. When he arrived on campus, one of the first things he did was attend rush. He became a pledge in a prestigious fraternity.One night, the alcohol was flowing and Marcus kept drinking – much more than usual. In the middle of the night, his roommate found him on the bathroom floor. Marcus never regained consciousness. He was 19.“The color is gone. I have no spark, no interest. I don’t want to go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything. It’s like a heavy, wet blanket is smothering all of us,” Mandy said. “I’m depressed. We’re all depressed.”  The loss of a loved one is depressingExperiencing some depression in grief is natural and common. Our loved one’s absence has left a gaping hole in our hearts. It feels wrong to have joy in anything.As Mandy said, the color goes out of life. We wonder if it will ever return, or if it even can.Our eating and sleeping habits take a hit. We’re fatigued all the time. We walk around in a fog, sometimes forgetting where we’re going and why. We wonder incessantly about questions we’ll probably never know the answers to. We slip back or deeper into unhealthy habits or addictions.We withdraw from the world and people. We feel alone, no matter where we are or who we’re around. We’re starved for fun, but feel terribly guilty about having any.We slog through each day like we’re knee-deep in mud. Motivation has disappeared. Even brushing our teeth is an emotional chore. We sigh a lot.With all of this, plus the daily, relentless assault of unpredictable emotions, it isn’t surprising that symptoms of depression can overtake us for a period of time.“Life without you is depressing. No wonder I feel this way.”Some possible action steps:Most depression is temporary. It comes, and it goes. We experience it for periods of time, from hours to days, or perhaps a week. When this temporary depression strikes, consider one of the following:Intentionally get out among people (a movie, restaurant, play, the mall, church, etc.).Volunteer to serve in honor of your loved one (church, food bank, civic organization, health organization, etc.).Talk to someone you trust (friend, therapist, mentor, minister, grief counselor) about how you’re feeling. Talking about it can make a big difference.Write it out. Journals. Letters. Whatever it takes. Try to capture how you’re doing and feeling on paper. This helps express our emotions and process our grief.What creative activity did you enjoy earlier in your life (drawing, painting, crafting, woodworking, etc.)? Do some of that. Creative expression aids in healing.If the depression you’re experiencing has deepened and become your new lifestyle, you need to take action now.If you are experiencing the following…You don’t get out of bed.You isolate yourself from other people and activities.You fall deeply into an addiction or self-medicating behaviorYou are non-functional when it comes to daily routine life.You have thoughts of harming yourself.…please call your physician, a mental health professional, or 911 immediately.Adapted from the newly released bestseller, Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child

Source: Grief Depression: What to Do When the Color is Gone | The Grief Toolbox

About Sue Rosenbloom, M.A., C.T.

Thanatologist: Loss and Grief Coach - My blog is for educational purposes only. I am not a licensed professional counselor - Bachelor of Arts in Human Studies - Marylhurst University (2007)- Certificate in Thanatology - Hood College (2008) Master of Arts in Thanatology - Hood College (2009) Certificate in Thanatology - The-Association for Death Education and Counseling (The highest level of loss and grief education). * Hospice, Alzheimers and Senior's Advocate * Former first responder for Trauma Intervention Program, Inc. (TIP) * Hospice and Bereavement Volunteer for Providence Hospice Bereavement Program * Association for Death Education and Counseling Member * National Alliance for Bereavement of Children * Hood College Thanatology Association * American Group Psychotherapy Association * Marylhurst Gerontolgy Association * Oregon Gerontology Association * Hospice, Loss, Grief and Bereavement Researcher * Creative Writer
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