• While the sorrow of grief is normal and to be expected, studies indicate that clinical depression is likely to occur in only 30-35% of bereaved parents; the other 70% will not experience the type of depression that calls for prescribed medication.
• Doctors should avoid prescribing antidepressants and anti-anxiety agents for newly bereaved parents, at least for the first 2-3 months following the death of a child. After that, if symptoms warrant it, a trial may be indicated – with the understanding that medication will not remove the grief; it only makes it more bearable.
• Studies show that 13% of those with a prior history of clinical depression will develop depression following the death of a child.
• Indications for antidepressant medication include inability to function and / or a history of depression prior to the death of a child.
• The newer antidepressant medications are far safer than their predecessors; they are neither addictive, nor lethal if taken as an overdose.
• Bereaved parents are wise to look for a counselor or therapist who is knowledgeable about and experienced in working with normal grief.
Listen to the entire interview here: Where Sadness Ends and Depression Begins
Your feedback is welcome ~ please leave a comment!
If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter. Sign up here.