Grief is a process, not an event with a set beginning or end, and each individual experiences it in his or her own way. The grief process takes a considerable amount of time and is revisited continuously over the course of a lifetime. However we can grieve or mourn to the extent that it affects our ability to function and in some cases affects both our physical and mental health.
Approximately 10 to 20% of bereaved persons have severe enough, unremitting reactions to loss that result in a complicated grieving process that may require treatment that includes prescription medication and counseling.
Sara Bailey, our guest blogger gives some outstanding advice to seniors battling depression brought on by the loss of a loved one.
Shameless_ Advice For Seniors Battling Grief-Related Depression
By Sara Bailey
Losing someone you love can bring on a wide range of emotions, and everyone experiences it differently. It can be an especially challenging part of your walk, and all too often, Christians can feel inadequate in their faith when faced with an issue like grief-driven depression. It’s important to get help when you need it. With that in mind, here is key advice for bereaved seniors.
Your grief is unique
Everyone grieves differently, but at the same time it’s important to recognize there is no shame in grieving a loss, nor in experiencing depression. Grieving can take time, and it’s a painful process. Your response to your loss can take on a number of various symptoms, such as insomnia, reliving old conflicts, and sudden bouts of weeping. Your journey will be unique, but that doesn’t mean you need to travel it alone, nor are you wrong in your experience.
Of course, we believe churches should be a go-to for seniors when they are facing difficult times. However, some statistics indicate there can be a gap between what services are available in a church and what a member needs, as well as a lack of understanding of what the particular services are.
Seniors especially can be reluctant to reach out for help. Maybe you think it’s a weakness, or it’s normal for your age and circumstances, or perhaps you are afraid to be a burden to others. On top of that, Good Samaritan Society points out many times depression is missed in older adults. Those who care about you might not realize how much you’re struggling. Thankfully, there are places you can turn to for assistance.
Seniors can get coverage for mental health services through Medicare. Oftentimes this is unfamiliar territory to seniors, caregivers, and clergy. There are resources to help decipher what health care assistance is available, and seniors should check in often to stay abreast of changes in coverage. Plans differ by location, so review the enrollment process and investigate both Medicare and supplemental insurances to make the appropriate choice for your needs and situation. You can also find a therapist who accepts Medicare by clicking here.
God is our Healer, yet it is unfortunate that in some regards people associate depression with a lack of faith, particularly when it relates to mental health. Even in the wake of grief, we think with enough prayer, a good attitude, and reading our Bible we can overcome an issue like depression. Bear in mind, however, even Jesus and the disciples became discouraged. In fact, as Christian Courier explains, there are ample Biblical examples of godly people who get depressed, and there is no shame in that struggle. Job, Jeremiah, David, and King Saul all faced times when they were depressed. Losing someone you love, especially if that someone was your lifetime partner, is one of the most difficult roads we travel. It’s how we respond to our troubles that matters, not how we feel as we experience those troubles.
Resources for self-help
Joy comes in the morning, but sometimes during those dark hours of the night, we need a place to turn in order to soothe our souls. There are several online resources available to help with healing or with those difficult moments. Mandisa offers a comforting playlist for those struggling with grief and depression, and Max Lucado has several devotions dealing specifically with grief and loss. While you might not feel very sociable, it’s important to avoid becoming isolated. Consider engaging in a grief support group, where others traveling a journey of grief come together for support and connection. Sometimes having a friend to call in those dark moments when we can’t hear His voice is a help. If your church doesn’t offer a grief support group, or you would prefer going outside your church, you can find one by clicking here.
We all experience grief in our own way, and there is no shame in struggling. If you need help, please reach out. You don’t have to make the journey alone.
To contact Sara email her at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit her website The Widow Net