Coping With Amputation: Is it Grief or Depression?

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Senior Step – Volume 1, 2004 | Download PDF

Dr. Alan Wolfelt in Death and Grief: A Guide for Clergy shares the following information to help you decide if you are experiencing normal grief or clinical depression.

Normal Grief
Clinical Depression
You are able to respond to comfort and support You cannot accept comfort or support
You are often openly angry You are irritable and may complain but do not directly express anger
You can relate your depressed feelings to your experience of loss You do not relate experiences to a particular life event
You can still experience moments of enjoyment in life You have a sense of doom that overshadows your days
You may have physical complaints that come and go You have physical complaints most or all of the time
You might express guilt over some aspect of the amputation You feel guilty about most things much of the time
These feelings sometimes affect your self-esteem Your self-esteem is low most of the time

Woman with serious expressionIf you think you are depressed, see your physician or a mental health professional immediately.

To find a mental health professional in your area, contact the following:

National Mental Health Association
http://www.nmha.org
800/969-6642
TTY Line: 800/433-5959

National Institute of Mental Health
http://www.nimh.nih.gov
866/615-6464
TTY Line: 301/443-8431