Grief and Depression at the End of Life

Thursday, November 08, 2012

After a terminal diagnosis there is often a grieving process. End-of-life grief or depression can be a serious condition. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this topic in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

If you are very sick or are nearing the end of life, you may have some losses. You may have feelings of anger, disbelief, longing, sadness, helplessness and guilt. You may also feel nervous or tired, have changes in your sleep and appetite, and be less social.

Most people cope with grief by talking to their family, friends or a member of their church that they trust, such as a priest, pastor or rabbi. You may also feel like talking to your doctor, counselor or therapist, or using support groups.

It is normal for you to feel sad when you are very sick. However, feeling sad all the time; feeling hopeless, helpless or guilty and not enjoying life are not normal. These feelings may be a sign of major depression, which needs to be treated.

Even though you may become depressed near the end of life, there are ways to help you feel better. Talking with your doctor or a therapist can help.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.