Symptoms of grief could be diagnosed as depression, rather than as normal reactions, states an article on The Lancet.

In the past, the American Psychiatric Association has recommended the need to consider, and usually exclude, bereavement before diagnosis of a major depressive disorder - but in its forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there is no such exclusion for bereavement.

Deep sadness, loss, sleeplessness, crying inability to concentrate, tiredness and a loss of appetite, which continue for more than two weeks after the death of a loved one, are all symptoms that could be diagnosed as depression, rather than as normal reactions to grief, writes The Lancet.

The medical journal states: "Medicalising grief, so that treatment is legitimised routinely with antidepressants, for example, is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed. The evidence base for treating recently bereaved people with standard antidepressant regimens is absent. In many people, grief may be a necessary response to bereavement that should not be suppressed or eliminated."

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  • A Change In Mood

    Is your partner unusually gloomy or sad? Do they put a negative spin on everything? Perhaps they have frequent angry outbursts - and these are aimed at you?

  • Energy Levels

    For some, depression manifests as a massive loss of energy. If your partner is too tired and lethargic to do anything for a long period of time, consider whether something more serious is going on.

  • Loss Of interest

    You might notice your partner cuts down on their activities, and loses interest in things they used to enjoy. In general, there's a sense of withdrawal.

  • Getting Things Done

    You could find that your partner becomes overwhelmed by tasks and so avoids doing them. Even simple things such as putting the dirty dishes in the sink, can seem like a vast, vague 'problem'.

  • Overdoing Things

    Sometimes as a person becomes depressed, they develop 'coping mechanisms', such as drinking more alcohol, using drugs, excess shopping, gambling, eating to excess, using pornography, or working extremely long hours - all ways to avoid dealing with negative feelings.

  • Sex

    Your partner's sex drive may well be affected by depression, either by removing it or increasing their desire

  • Anxiety

    It's likely that your partner may also develop stronger feelings of anxiety. For example, he or she may get really agitated about where the neighbours park their car. Or begin to dread doing something wrong, or doing work that's not good enough.

  • Mornings

    First thing in the morning can be a really tough time for someone who's depressed, and it can take ages to get going. Many people say that as the day wears on they feel better.

  • Communication

    You may start to feel you're treading on eggshells, as it becomes more easy to trigger a negative reaction. And if they are angry, they may hurl unfair accusations at you.

  • Your Own Feelings

    You may begin to feel, hurt, rejected, isolated and guilty within your relationship - and perhaps embarrassed by their behaviour when in public. Take these feelings seriously, as they are an indicator something is wrong.