Understanding the difference between GRIEF, DEPRESSION & STRESS may help you to help yourself, others around you and possibly the world we live in.

Sorrow Heartache Anguish Angst Pain
Grief is an emotion or a feeling that is a normal human response. It affects us all at some point in our life. Grief can range from a short period of sadness and confusion to prolonged, gut wrenching agony. It can be expressed in many different ways, such as anger, intolerance, irritability, frustration and impatience not just sadness.

Grief is most commonly associated with the death of a loved one, but it can actually be triggered by a whole host of other reasons. Some of these most people will understand but often these triggers or reasons won’t make any sense to others. This makes dealing with grief a lonely process.

Grief can be caused by a loss, a traumatic event, a series of bad experiences, the disappointments in life, the decisions we need to make in order to survive, the mistakes we make, the behaviour and reactions of others, bullying and many of life’s challenges that are thrown at us.

People can live with grief without being depressed. Grief is not a mental illness, it is cannot be treated with medications. Dealing with grief requires a communal effort to encourage people to be more compassionate, respectful and courteous; and less harsh, ignorant, over reactive and judgemental.

Life is a journey that should be explored. Our choices should allow us to be creative and pioneering without ridicule or exemption. We should support and encourage each other to make a difference and create changes for the better.

Unhappiness Despair Sadness Misery Hopelessness
Depression is a feeling that is a normal human response.
If these feelings are allowed to continue it can cause physical changes to occur in the human body, leading to an illness known as ‘clinical depression’. This condition can have other predisposing causes but can be treated with medical advice, therapy and medications to manage the ‘chemical imbalance’ in the body.

Clinical depression is a mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, is often accompanied by a range of physical and psychological symptoms that can interfere with the way a person is able to function in their everyday life.

Pressure Strain Anxiety Tension
Stress is the body's way of responding to demand or pressures. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. In many cases stress is a healthy reaction. It helps us cope with life's challenges. However too much stress, or prolonged stress can affect our physical and mental health.

Stress causes an increase in levels of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, and increase blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease.

It is important to understand the difference to avoid confusion and mismanagement. Please don’t allow your grief or stress to be labelled and treated as depression, they are very different. Of course, seek professional help but do your research and remember that you have a choice in how you live and what path you take.