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Coping with Amputation: Is it Grief or Depression?

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

  • You are able to respond to comfort and support
  • You are often openly angry
  • You can relate your depressed feelings to your experience of loss
  • You can still experience moments of enjoyment in life
  • You may have physical complaints that come and go
  • You might express guilt over some aspect of the amputation
  • These feelings sometimes affect your self-esteem

Clinical Depression

  • You cannot accept comfort or support
  • You are irritable and may complain but do not directly express anger
  • You do not relate experiences to a particular life event
  • You have a sense of doom that overshadows your days
  • You have physical complaints most or all of the time
  • You feel guilty about most things much of the time
  • Your self-esteem is low most of the time

If 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
TTY Line: 800/433-5959

National Institute of Mental Health
TTY Line: 301/443-8431

Disclaimer: The following information is provided and owned by the Amputation Coalition of America and was previously published on the website or the Coalitions Newsletter, inMotion.

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