SYMPTOMS Usually sadness and depression Often anxiety Bereavement as such is not a psychological disorder
ICD-10: F32 Depressive Episode (1) In typical mild, moderate, or severe depressive episodes, the patient suffers from lowering of mood, reduction of energy, and decrease in activity. Capacity for enjoyment, interest, and concentration is reduced, and marked tiredness after even minimum effort is common. Sleep is usually disturbed and appetite diminished. Self- esteem and self-confidence are almost always reduced and, even in the mild form, some ideas of guilt or worthlessness are often present.
ICD-10: F32 Depressive Episode (2) The lowered mood varies little from day to day, is unresponsive to circumstances and may be accompanied by so-called "somatic" symptoms, such as loss of interest and pleasurable feelings, waking in the morning several hours before the usual time, depression worst in the morning, marked psychomotor retardation, agitation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and loss of libido. Depending upon the number and severity of the symptoms, a depressive episode may be specified as mild, moderate or severe.
MOST IMPORTANT SYMPTOMS An inability to enjoy anything Lack of energy, tiredness Tearfulness Pessimism & hopelessness Sleeping disorders Decreased appetite & weight loss Unrealistic feelings of guilt Suicidal tendencies
DEPRESSION AS REACTION Depression – a reaction to some or other disaster or serious loss, e g death of a beloved one, loss of income, loss of health or cessation of an important relationship Nobody can stay untouched in these circumstances Depression is a normal reaction after such a blow or loss
AGGREVATING FACTORS Social isolation Inadequate diet Weak self-image Pessimism Chronic pain & bad health Dependency on alcohol & other drugs
THE FUNERAL Much has to be organised Many volunteers Big expenses Those left behind often in a haze or drugged
AFTER THE FUNERAL Loneliness sets in Administration of the estate Those left behind are often helpless Life cannot go on as normal – too many adjustments Support most needed at this stage
ROLE OF FRIENDS & FAMILY No magic wand available Wounds take time to heal Listen with empathy Allow tears to flow Be available Supervise meals Help with exercise
MOURNING Those left behind have an urgent need to mourn the deceased by – Crying Talking about the deceased Celebrating his/her life Completing tasks left uncompleted Complying with his/her last wishes So – don’t get drugged!
MOURNING After a catastrophy or other loss – The person also goes into mourning Cannot easily adjust to new life
SUPPORT WHEN A CHILD DIES Don’t tell the grieving parents – that you know exactly how they feel that the child is now in a better place that they may have other children that God picks the most beautiful flowers Just be there for them and allow them to cry and talk about their child
SUPPORT WHEN A CHILD DIES If there are other children in the grieving family they also need – To mourn Support To talk about their sibling
MEDICATION Antidepressants – Meant to increase the supply of serotonin to the brain Ineffective in many cases Often unpleasant side-effects Don’t solve any problems Interfere with mourning process and prolong the suffering
SLEEPING PILLS It is necessary to get enough quality sleep Sleeping pills are highly addictive Pills don’t provide quality sleep – only induce a stupor Use only in an emergency
DREAMS Mourning person often dreams of the deceased or loss Dreams: coping mechanism of brain Drugs and sleeping pills interfere with dreaming
SUPPORT GROUPS Get to know new friends in similar circumstances Safe environment to express grief Gain knowledge and insight Social support
YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE Don’t neglect your spiritual life Pray & meditate What are your goals in life? What are your values? You may fight and argue with God – as Jacob did (Gen 32)
NUTRITION & DIET Eat lots of fresh veggies & fruit Get enough fibre in your diet Supplement with vitamins, minerals & omega-3 fatty acids Drugs: NO!
EXERCISE Your body is designed for movement Exercise produces endorphins – potent pain killers and enhancers of mood Helps with relaxation & sleep Good for your overall health
AN OLD SAYING We often hear: “Time heals all wounds” The trouble with that is…. it takes TIME! And LOTS of it! BUT – most wounds WILL heal, given time
HEALING OF SEVERE TRAUMA When trauma is severe and symptoms persist, then professional help is called for Treatment: hypnosis, EMDR, EFT, CBT &tc