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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested on your thoughts about the difference between feeling grief and depression.


I am not talking about what causes these two feelings, but the difference in the actual feelings.

If you understand what I mean.

Otherwise, just ramble about grief and depression.
 

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For me grief is a very clear process of release with its own timeline and movement through. It feels like a clear-running river or something like that ... something moving, and the pain is part of the movement. Depression (not talking about clinical depression, just garden variety in my case) feels more stagnant to me, kind of murkier. Grief is sharper, clearer for me. It doesn't always show up the same way but it is always doing its thing. Depression is more like a slowing of motion. The pain of grief is way more intense than the pain of depression, but the pain of depression is stickier and not as clear/clean.

Not sure that is what you're seeking in terms of difference in actual feelings, but it's what I got.
 

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It's very hard to put into words, but I'll try.

I grieved twice, once over a partner who'd died, once over a parent. The emotion was raw, almost physically painful, the crying was uncontrollable (although it didn't set in straightaway, but after days/weeks), the anger, desperation and sense of loss really something I'd never experienced so forcefully. It was very much connected to one person/event, and that was clear.

It can develop into depression if the grieving process is not complete/you try to suppress it though. That thankfully didn't happen to me on those occasions, but I was depressed during other times of my life. The feeling, for me, was totally different. I was numb (grief is sharp), no coherent thoughts, no drive, constantly tired, couldn't be arsed with anything. I never thought of killing myself when I grieved - I very much wanted to live. That wasn't the case when I was depressed. And I NEVER cried when I was depressed - I didn't feel anything apart from emptiness.

This is all very personal though - other people might feel it completely differently...
 

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I think that grieving feels intense. There are many heightened emotions involved; and many internalized scenes and memories, that provoke these emotions, usually come into play. I've felt depressed a few times in my life; though IIRC there are different forms of clinical depression; or if I'm wrong, it might be a different experience for different people. Feeling depressed feels like a big deep pit of emptiness. In my experience of depression, everything feels meaningless, completely boring, and anything in life doesn't seem interesting or stimulating in anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For me grief is a very clear process of release with its own timeline and movement through. It feels like a clear-running river or something like that ... something moving, and the pain is part of the movement. Depression (not talking about clinical depression, just garden variety in my case) feels more stagnant to me, kind of murkier. Grief is sharper, clearer for me. It doesn't always show up the same way but it is always doing its thing. Depression is more like a slowing of motion. The pain of grief is way more intense than the pain of depression, but the pain of depression is stickier and not as clear/clean.

Not sure that is what you're seeking in terms of difference in actual feelings, but it's what I got.
No, this is very helpful. And I think I identify with it.

Someone asked me if what I was experiencing was grief, and I didn't know how to answer. I felt like "No, this is somehow different" but I couldn't pinpoint how.

I think the way you explained it here really clicks with me.


Do you think it is possible to turn depression into grief in order to heal?

Like, somehow speed up the river again?
 
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For me grief is a sharp feeling. Something you can clearly place and feel.
And also something that many people will understand most of the time.

Everyone grieves at some point in their lives. So everyone can relate to it in his or her own way.

For me depression is much sneakier. Much meaner. You can maybe place the reason for it. But it's more like an energy sapping sludge. It robs me of my drive. And it costs me lot of energy to get out of. It is harder to see the positive things in life and even harder to accept them. And it tends to sneak up on me when I don't keep myself busy.
And in my experience most people don't understand why you're depressed. They only (want to) see the things that should make you happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think that grieving feels intense. There are many heightened emotions involved, and many internalized scenes and memories, that provoke these emotions, usually come into play. I've felt depressed a few times in my life; though IIRC there are different forms of clinical depression; or if I'm wrong, it might be a different experience for different people. Feeling depressed feels like a big deep pit of emptiness. In my experience of depression, everything feels meaningless, completely boring, and anything in life doesn't seem interesting or stimulating in anyway.
This explanation is interesting, because I can identify with both in what I have been experiencing over the past couple of years.
 
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This explanation is interesting, because I can identify with both in what I have been experiencing over the past couple of years.
One can move on from grief. It is normal to do so. The loss of something important leaves scars; but moving on allows us to grow and deal with life as it is. Moving on from the loss is like going on with life with this additional weight, but choosing to pull it forward with you into new plans and experiences. That's what it feels like for me anyway.

When one falls into depression, one needs help if one cannot overcome it. I find that my depression is sometimes a matter of how I view things, and how much I appreciate what I have; thus It's a subjective matter. I believe others have a real physiological problem and it is a lot more than a way of looking at things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am now thinking along the lines of:

What if when something happens that should have been grieved over was not ever properly grieved over?
Does it then become the murky pond of depression?
If this is so, how does one deal with it, especially years later, in a healthy way, to really let oneself grieve and heal?
 

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No, this is very helpful. And I think I identify with it.

Someone asked me if what I was experiencing was grief, and I didn't know how to answer. I felt like "No, this is somehow different" but I couldn't pinpoint how.

I think the way you explained it here really clicks with me.


Do you think it is possible to turn depression into grief in order to heal?

Like, somehow speed up the river again?
So are you grieving a loss but it's gotten stuck so it's more like depression?

I haven't had that experience (for me, grief has always had its own agenda and I feel like I'm kind of along for the ride).

I guess I would ask you: do you know what is the obstruction to the natural flow of the river in your situation?

Edited to add: I just saw this part:

I am now thinking along the lines of:

What if when something happens that should have been grieved over was not ever properly grieved over?
Does it then become the murky pond of depression?
If this is so, how does one deal with it, especially years later, in a healthy way, to really let oneself grieve and heal?
Can you fully open yourself to the flow of emotion/feeling pain? I mean let yourself really feel it, physically, emotionally, spiritually, do whatever you need to do to move through?

And: I will say that for me, grief has always had a pretty intensely physical component. And that makes me think, you know what? My INFP, healer that she is, would probably suggest that you attend to where in your body you feel it, as a starting point.
 

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Grief to me is like rain, it pours freely upon the land or within the city, and like rain it possesses a tremendous capacity for havoc and destruction. But once the rain ceases to pour, the floods eventually drain and if the damage isn't too severe, the streets are generally cleaner and the harvested crops more bountiful. The sun also seems to shine a bit brighter as well.

Depression to me is like a drought, a seemingly perpetual blight upon the land. Under the baleful gaze of its unwavering eye, the ground is baked dry, and everything else it touches simply withers away and dies.


In a more literal sense, grief is cathartic. When I grieve, I experience emotional pain and suffering. I stop trying to be strong and stoic and finally let go. The idea of losing control for me is shameful and terrifying, yet the action in itself is completely liberating. The emotional pain has both meaning and purpose, and when it does cease I can finally move on.

Depression is downright depressing. There is nothing but emptiness, or a sustained sense suffering without purpose. I guess it would be akin to purgatory: wandering the earth seemingly incapable of happiness or sadness, only lingering depression. But I'm not sure how to continue this paragraph without sounding too redundant, and I'm feeling a bit tired so i apologize for the truncated post. :frustrating:
 
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The "symptoms" of depression and grief are almost the same to me, the only difference I can find between the both of those is, when I am grieving I tend to think "It´s ok, it hurts now but it won´t last for ever. I will be fine I know, maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually I will come back to my normal. I can do this" but when I am depressed I tend to be more like "There is no way I can go through this, no this time, I am doomed, I am done. There is no way out"


Depression is a harder "circle" for me to break because I tend to isolate and that doesn´t always help.
 

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Eh, well for me grief is kind of a sharp pain that suddenly comes, but it goes. When my grandfather died I would say that I was grieving, it hurt a lot and I was sad. But when I went through depression, it was more of numb, hopeless feeling. I had no ambition to do anything. I felt as if I'd become useless and couldn't do things properly because I had no motivation to do so.
 

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Grieving is a lot like anger, but reversed. Depression, however, is not really an emotion, but more or less a state of mind. Depression clouds your entire thought, turning the world around you black with despair, while grief is an emotion that turns a particular situation into despair.
 

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What if when something happens that should have been grieved over was not ever properly grieved over?
Does it then become the murky pond of depression?
This has definitely happened to me multiple times. I suppress stuff sometimes without really being aware of it because I feel clear, fine and then one day I sort of realize what I've become. I'm not really happy. I'm numb and empty. I start seeking for some warmth some where and then I just become angry at myself because I can't ever really attain what I'm looking for without letting go of this hidden weight within my heart. And well, it's all very messy and painful.

If this is so, how does one deal with it, especially years later, in a healthy way, to really let oneself grieve and heal?
It helps to talk about it with someone you trust and allow yourself to cry all you want. Just be honest with yourself.
 

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I am now thinking along the lines of:

What if when something happens that should have been grieved over was not ever properly grieved over?
Does it then become the murky pond of depression?
If this is so, how does one deal with it, especially years later, in a healthy way, to really let oneself grieve and heal?
It would be helpful if you could talk about this openly, but if you would rather not, I'd respect that.

I think that though it's difficult to do; one has to accept what happened after the loss. Everything has a good and bad side to it. If one only fixates on the negative aspect of the loss, then it becomes well of negative energy (if you know what I mean). I think that when I grieve, it is initially difficult to recognize or admit the positive aspects of the loss. They do exist nonetheless.

Refusing to look at the positive aspects, possibilities, and opportunities does not help the problem. It only prolongs it.

^That's all I've got. I'm sorry if I don't have the answer to your question.
 

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Grief without complications -like anxiety, severe loss of financial or emotional support, has a resolution, however slowly it is is arriving. Talking it out to a clergyman or trusted friend can ease the pain. Grief therapy, especially in grieving for a loved one who has died, is very helllpful. A local hospice can recommend a therapist.
Depressed mood is like a long series of overcast and rainy days. Reframing, change of routine, physical activity can help. Light therapy is sometimes prescribed.
But a major depression episode is neurological and involves altered brain chemistry, usually requiring medication, sometimes lifelong.
Grief with complications may involve anxiety, panic attacks, vivid and disturbing dreams, suicidal thoughts and can lead to major depression.
"Thigs will be better" is neither absolutely truthful nor a helpful thing to say. Short term psychotherapy from a qualified therapist may be necesssary. Medication for concurrent depression may be helpful.
 

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I think of grief as being full and depression as being empty.

Grief is a visitor who comes uninvited and who can't be turned away at the door. It must be fed, and cared for, made comfortable. Grief tells many stories at the table and in those stories are often the clues to direct grief in the direction of being a less intrusive house guest. In my experience with grief, I know I have yet to have any grief truly leave; even if grief itself leaves my house, it always leaves behind a coat, or a shoe print, or a stain of some sort where, on coming across that sign, grief's shadow returns to haunt again in some way, for some time, but eventually even the small signs of grief's presence become just another part of the house.

Depression, is a tomb. There is nothing there -- no light, no dialogue. There is no motivation to leave because it is so dark no doors can be seen and the weight of mortality is a lead cloak. There is nothing.

One time, grief came to visit and shoved me down the hole in the floor of my house and into the tomb, or perhaps I escaped to the tomb to hide from this grief that was particularly powerful and aggressive, and its overwhelming presence was intolerable. The only way out of the tomb was to speak to that grief, to face it, little by little as far as I could, day by day. It could not be conquered, but had to be worn down. Even now, two years later, this grief is still very real and present and sometimes I find myself falling into the prison of the tomb again, but it improves and the imprisonments, when they happen, are shorter each time.

Writing has been my most useful tool, but I've found the greatest healing has come from simply allowing myself to cry and to hurt. Counselling geared towards grief and loss issues was effective. I've also found it was important for me to start restructuring life; I found healing in recreating relationships, identity, patterns in a world that had changed. It was important to accept that yes, the loss had changed my personal world, and it had changed me as well, so I found it important to learn how to be this person now, and how to live in this world now. A restructuring.
 
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