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Grief vs. Depression: Which Is It?

Grief vs. Depression: Which Is It?

Grief vs. Depression: Which Is It?

By Nancy Schimelpfening

Source: Very Well Minded

Grief and depression share similar symptoms, but each is a distinct experience, and making the distinction is important for several reasons. With depression, getting a diagnosis and seeking treatment can be literally life-saving. At the same time, experiencing grief due to a significant loss is not only normal but can ultimately be very healing.

Clinical Perspectives

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition(DSM-5) removed a “bereavement exclusion” from the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD). In the DSM-IV, the “bereavement exclusion” stated that someone who was in the first few weeks after the death of a loved one should not be diagnosed with MDD. However, the DSM-5 recognizes that while grief and MDD are distinct, they can also coexist, and grief can sometimes trigger a major depressive episode, just as other stressful experiences can.

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