Have you ever lost someone you love? Gone through a life crisis? Lost your job? Experienced a death in the family?
Did you experience a deep, all-consuming and all-pervading grief? And did it magically stop after 2 weeks?
Or rather did you barely function, live on ice cream, take some time off work, cry a lot, drown your sorrows in booze and maybe even pass out on your floor a few times?
According to the DSM-IV “the Criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is Depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks.”
I repeat 2 WEEKS!!!
I don’t know about you but I know I need a bit more than 2 weeks to grieve after major life event such as the loss of a loved one!
I also know that during those periods I have given myself full permission to very much loose interest in stuff and feel a huge lack of pleasure. That, in my opinion, is completely fair enough.
Sure some people might bounce back quicker than others but 2 weeks? Really?? Am I missing something here? Am I the only person on the planet who doesn’t aspire to be a robot? I think not.
What if grief had a value? What if it’s purpose was to open us up? To widen our experience, compassion and empathy for our fellow man? What if it was necessary? Why is this so difficult for conventional psychiatry to explore?
Perhaps we need to look outside of the realm of conventional medicine to find these deeper truths.
William Blake said ” The deeper the sorrow the greater the joy.” I tend to agree. I’m grateful for the experience of sadness in my life, even when it’s endured for more than 2 weeks.
I appreciate what it taught me, how it changed me and the richness of the human emotional experience. I do not think prolonged sadness is a disorder! No! As Dr Kelly Brogan says “It’s an opportunity!”
Francis Weller, a grief specialist explores this concept in a little more depth:
“When we compress the terrain of grief we also compress the territory of joy, and we end up living in a flatline culture.”
Fuck flatline living I say! Go out there and walk the terrain.
….. If you like this blog please consider supporting me by checking out Dr Kelly Brogan MD (Holistic Psychiatrist). I’m an online affiliate of her 44 Day Vital Mind Reset Course. It’s amazing!!