Telling the difference between grief and depression

While the loss of loved ones can cause distress in older people, knowing where the line between deep sorrow and depression lies can be helpful for GPs.

Grief is the experience of deep sorrow following the death of a loved one.


For older people, it is a very common experience as the likelihood of friends and family dying increases.

But despite grief’s prevalence in normal life and extensive literature covering the subject, there is no scientific evidence to define the characteristics of normal grief.1

The American Psychiatric Association’s recently published DSM-5 has drawn attention and controversy to the area by apparently including grief as a mental disorder.2

But regardless of how