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Chicago Botanic Garden
Defining the subtleties of grief
Defining the subtleties of grief

In the weeks after her mother's death, Gloria Ciaccio was steeped in grief. Numb and shocked, Ciaccio cried a lot, fought the urge to call her late mom on the phone, and felt like doing absolutely nothing. But though overwhelmingly sad, Ciaccio was not suffering from clinical depression, a mood disorder that often requires treatment. Like most cases, her grief gradually and naturally lifted over time. The subtle distinction between acute grief and major depression, which is often difficult to make, is at the heart of a long-running and contentious debate in the psychiatric world. Grief-stricken patients frequently report symptoms that are also typical of major depression, such as...