Can grief cause mental illness? - Mental Health Sup...

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Can grief cause mental illness?

Lily123456 profile image

Hi all, I’ve recently started suffering with my mental health. My (very close) gran passed away from cancer during covid and I was only allowed to say goodbye to her through a window. About a week before she died I started having intrusive thoughts (never had them before) and felt so down, I spoke to my doctor and felt better after my gran actually passed away because I wasn’t waiting for the call anymore. Since then, I made small progress steps, that was in June. However, for the last week or so, I now have some good days but the bad days have started creeping up more. Yesterday I cried for almost the whole day and just feel so hopeless and like I’m going to never be myself again so have made an appointment with my doctor. Just wanted to see if anyone else has felt like this?

6 Replies

Hi Lily,

I am sorry that your gran has passed and your goodbye was through a window 🤧

Grief and depression can appear to be similar. Both are physically exhausting. Depression tends to last longer and can be periodic.

Talking about your feelings is really important. Family and friends are good options but a few sessions with a therapist helps too.

Your doctor should see your post in case you forget the important notes.

Hoping each day eases your sorrow 💜

Hi, thank you for your kind words. I am unsure whether it is even grief anymore but my research seems to suggest it might be, my gran only passed 7 weeks ago. I am unsure whether it is depression in the usual sense (my mum was clinically depressed for a number of years during my childhood) as I still want to get out of bed and do things. I think I am incredibly hard on myself which makes me mentally exhausted but hoping time will heal. Thank you ❤️

Hi Lily

My heartfelt condolences to you on the loss of your beloved Gran.

Losing someone we dearly love is so difficult at any time, but added to this ,the Covid-19 safety restrictions take away our 'normal' ways to show we care or say "Goodbye" via touch, hugs and words, has made things so tough to get through.

Blackcat64013 is right …. grief and depression can appear similar, however grief is your mind and body's way of 'reacting' to the shock, numbness, longing, anger and all the other overwhelming emotions that are part of loss and grief! (It's known as Reactive Depression)

These powerful emotions will come and go ,sometimes when you least expect them, and other times perhaps triggered my a memory, or smell or music ….

Do try and be gentle with yourself, and allow yourself to 'feel' the emotions, but try and balance the time you spend feeling sad with remembering all the lovely times you shared with your Gran.

I wonder, is there some way that you can commemorate her memory by perhaps planting a flower/shrub/tree that reminds you of her or having her photo in a locket you can wear as a Keepsake …… so that in some small way she remains ever 'with' you …. Perhaps you can include other family members in this too …. Give it some thought, and do what feels right for you x

It is very early as yet, if your Gran died in June, so remember grief will come in waves ….. if you feel your grief is impacting on normal day-to-day activities (work/home/studies etc), then do go back to your doctor and tell him/her how you are.

Meanwhile, I wish you all the best and if you need further help or support, do post again as we are here to help you come through this. Misty xx

Thank you, Misty. That’s very helpful and will definitely give it some thought xx

firstly I am sorry for your loss.. i feel your pain. I have lost all my parents and grandparents.

Loss of loved ones can definitely cause mental health problems. That's what started mine. I was my dads carer when he was dying and he was only 59. The most significant person in my life.

Talking things through with either family or friends or even a professionals will go a way towards helping. Sadly this is no quick fix, it will take time. Good luck, I hope things improve for you

Hang on in there, it will get better.

Thank you Jaynie and so sorry to hear of your loss. I have had a better week this last week, I started talking to a bereavement counsellor and my general mood has somewhat lifted. I also found that talking to my gran out loud and saying all of the things I wanted to that I didn’t get the chance to because of covid helped me. Thank you xx