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Grief Vs. Depression - Which One You Might Be Struggling With And How To Tell

Have you ever experienced losing a loved one? Maybe it was a family member, spouse, best friend, or even a dear pet. Grief is something we all experience in life. I am writing this blog post to help people understand the difference between grief and depression. Currently I am experiencing a phase of grief due to losing my dear dog and friend, Tito. In other times of my life, I have struggled with depression. Grief and depression share many similar symptoms and can often feel like each other, but are in fact quite different.

Several symptoms that you may encounter in both grief and depression include intense sadness, insomnia, poor appetite and weight loss. Although, if grief lingers long enough it can show up also as anger, irritability and excessive focus on the event.

However, recently I felt it important to share that moving through grief can actually be a beautiful experience. It can shift and flows through you if you allow it. Accepting the feelings and honoring the sadness helps you have more access to feeling alive.  Personally, my grief brought me some gratefulness, which is so different then when I struggled with depression.

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I think about my dog and I cry tears of sadness, gratitude, joy, love and they wash over me at different moments of the day. The beauty inside the process is really the experience of the person walking through it. The experience actually opens your senses and you are able to see the light even as your journey through it. Understand that it’s a journey though, and there is movement.

Depression tends to be much more persistent and pervasive. Low self esteem, thoughts of suicide and no will to live, are indication that your in a state of depression, and not grief. Other symptoms might include morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, sluggish or hesitant and confused speech, prologoned and marked difficulty in carrying out the activities of day to day living hallucinations or delusions (some people experiencing grief can also have sensations of seeing and hearing things). Depression is part of grief,but moves when your struggling with straight depression there is no movement and you feel like you are trapped. Your heart isn’t open, it’s heavy and the weight of the world is on you. The thoughts tend to be more negative.

As I move through grief I am able to hold space and see the stages of grief and there is a vaslating flow inside me. Grief doesn’t necessarily need to be treated it just needs to be honored. However If your experiencing depression and identify with those symptoms its important to reach out and get some help. It’s important to know the difference and be kind to yourself regardless. I wrote this blog to honor Tito (my little yorkie) missed but never forgotten. I hope it helps those of you whom might be struggling and please comment below with any insight you might personally have towards this topic. The more we can talk about the more we can help each other.


Be sure to tune in to Instagram on Monday at 4PM ET to get your questions answered regarding grief and depression. We’ll be talking through this topic more deeply with live personal interaction. Look forward to seeing you there. Follow me on Instagram here.





Jessica Baum