Is that grief or depression you’re experiencing due to COVID-19?

Ronald M. Podell, M.D. Ronald M. Podell, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist with degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University. He is the founder and director of the Center for Bio-Behavioral Science in Los Angeles…

Could you add more to what you just shared about grieving to help people try to figure out whether they may be depressed or grieving right now?

Grieving is a natural reaction to loss and is often unpleasant. Family and friends may be intolerant of the bad feelings coming from a distressed person. I try to help people work through grief or anxiety and despair without drugs whenever possible. However, if I believe the grieving process is becoming pathological and it isn’t healing, I’ll prescribe medications that address the abnormal brain chemistry that occurs in mood and anxiety disorders.

I must then carefully observe the patient and employ psychological methods that help treat the mood or anxiety disorder. A professional is needed to discern between normal grief, sadness, stress reactions and a major depressive episode. There are specialists within psychiatry who are adept at using medications and are called psychopharmacologists.

More about grief or depression: