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Antidepressants Do Not Medicate Grief


Day 91: Antidepressants Will Not Medicate Grief


I have come to believe that when properly dosed, antidepressant medication DOES NOT medicate grief.**


For some, this might come as a relief. I have many clients who fear that taking medication might dull or numb or make their grief journey different than it should be.


For others, this might sound terrifying—that the tool they just bravely said yes to might not help.


The main reason I believe that antidepressants do not medicate grief (and have experienced this myself) is that I don’t believe grief and depression come from the same place. They are very different experiences, both psychologically and organically in our bodies. (Please refer to Day 77 and Day 4 of my posts).


I am a fan of people using the tools available to them for their grief journey, and often times, medication is a very useful tool and we should celebrate that choice if it works for the individual. Medication might help complete some tasks or help a person get out of bed, yet grief is way too powerful to be medicated. When properly dosed, medication will not get in the way of a grief journey.


**I wish to qualify this post with the following: 1) I am not a medical doctor nor prescriber of medication; 2) what I offered is gathered from years of anecdotal experience, both personal and professional; and 3) the research on administration of antidepressants for grief remains lacking, and from what I can gather, can be summarized as follows--

a) antidepressants remain most effective for a diagnosis of depression, and not grief

b) therapeutic interventions for complicated grief (now called prolonged grief) may be more effective in conjunction with antidepressant medications

c) there is no conclusive studies that suggest antidepressants will medicate grief


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