ZocdocAnswersShould I seek out psychotherapy after the passing of a child?

Question

Should I seek out psychotherapy after the passing of a child?

My two year old died recently and my whole family has been depressed. Should we have psychotherapy?

Answer

Many condolences to you on the loss of your child. This is one of the most difficult losses for a parent or a family to face, and the depression that you are all experiencing is very normal. That being said, grief and the depression that can be associated with it are also something that can be very debilitating to your life (and that of the other members of your family). You should bring up these issues with your primary care physician and also the pediatrician for other children you may have. Children and adults process loss differently, and even if they don't express themselves in the same way, it is also important for children to have an outlet for their grief. A wide range of options is available to help support a family through the grieving process. Psychotherapy can be very helpful and can sometimes be done both individually and with an entire family who may have jointly suffered a loss. In some people the normal grieving after a death does extend into clinical depression that can and should be treated with the care of a psychiatrist (can involve medications and/or therapy). Furthermore, there are also support groups for families who have suffered a loss and this 'non-medical' option may also be very helpful for you and your family. Your primary care physician should be able to help connect you with these resources.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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