Depression may be experienced throughout the entire mourning process and it’s natural. We feel numb, indifferent and life appears heartbreaking. There may be loss of appetite, anxiety, disturbed sleep patterns and obsessive thoughts. There is a pending gloom hanging over our heads and we withdraw. It’s even difficult to carry out day-to-day activities and life may appear to not be worth living.
A depression can be relatively minor and probably the most normal response to the death of a beloved pet. Depression diminishes the intensity of emotions and allows us time to gain acceptance of our new reality. Take baby steps; open the blinds, treat yourself to your favorite restaurant or meet up with a friend in a park. All life is change and growth, one of the hardest but most valuable lessons our pets can teach us.
On the other hand, a major depression can be very disabling and lead to suicidal thoughts. It is important to see a qualified mental health professional if this stage imposes any danger to yourself or others.