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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can I do to overcome grief and depression?

    I have been on an antidepressant for nearly thirty years and consulted a counsellor on and off for nearly 27 years. Ten years ago our son died at the age of 27. Late last year my Mum died and a week ago my 14 1/2 year old cat needed to be put down. I feel lost and teary. I was feeling like that after an operation I had in September, but seems worse now. I am not sure what to do. I think my psychologist has retired as she does not seem to be contactable any more. I told my husband I am feeling teary and at times lost. Some input would be greatly appreciated. What tactics can I put in place to help how I feel.
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    Renee Mill

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Empowering people is my passion and life work. I have been working as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice for over thirty years. I have … View Profile

    I am sorry for your losses.

    There is difference between grief and depression. Grief is a normal response to losing a loved one through death. It is a necessary process and assists  ultimate healing. However, if it is so  intense that you cannot function, or lasts for years, then it may have become depression.

    You have had several losses and it is possible that every loss stirs up the pain you felt when you lost your son. Whether it is grief or depression, you will definitely benefit from talking to a psychologist. 

  • Marinh Thach


    Hi Renee,

    You've been through so much! I hope that you find the strength to overcome these feelings.

  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    Wow, you've experienced several significant losses in the last few years, and as Renee suggests, grieving is not the same as depression. Going to see a psychologist may be an important part of what helps you get through -finding out whether you are dealing with depression as well as grief, and if so, developing (or re-affirming) strategies that you find helpful for coping with this. Counselling may also be helpful - this can be a place to process feelings of grief and loss, and to do the important work of understanding the meaning of these losses to you so that you can create a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life moving forward. You may also consider seeking out support groups where people who have had similar experiences can find others who understand what it is like. Many people attending such groups report that it is a relief to spend time with others who understand, and may have had similar responses to them - so feeling that you are not the only one, that your responses are understandable and normal. Often these groups run through local health and community services - a place to start may be your community health centre or neighbourhood house (groups are often free or very low cost). 

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