Patient: What is the best way to help with my girlfriend’s depression? She’s having an extremely difficult and unique situation coping with the loss of her grandfather.
Symptoms: Depression, Stess
Doctor: Hello,Welcome to ATD. Thank you for the query.The death of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experienc nces. She must be feeling isolated and alone in her grief, but having someone to lean on can help her through the grieving process.Don’t let discomfort prevent you from reaching out to someone grieving. Now, more than ever, your support is needed. You might not know exactly what to say or what to do, but that’s okay. You don’t need to have answers or give advice. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there; your support and caring presence will help him or her cope with the pain and begin to heal.There are many practical ways you can help a grieving person. You can offer to:Shop for groceries or run errandsDrop off a casserole or other type of foodHelp with funeral arrangementsStay in her home to take phone calls and receive guestsHelp with insurance forms or billsTake care of housework, such as cleaning or laundryDrive her wherever she needs to goLook after her petsGo with her to a support group meetingAccompany her on a walkTake her to lunch or a movieShare an enjoyable activity (game, puzzle, art project)It’s common for a grieving person to feel depressed, confused, disconnected from others, or like he or she is going crazy. But if the bereaved person’s symptoms don’t gradually start to fade—or they get worse with time—this may be a sign that normal grief has evolved into a more serious problem, such as clinical depression.Encourage the grieving person to seek professional help if you observe any of the following warning signs after the initial grieving period—especially if it’s been over two months since the death.Difficulty functioning in daily lifeExtreme focus on the deathExcessive bitterness, anger, or guiltNeglecting personal hygieneAlcohol or drug abuseInability to enjoy lifeHallucinationsWithdrawing from othersConstant feelings of hopelessnessTalking about dying or suicideHope this helps. Take care.