Grief is the term used to describe the many intense and, sometimes confusing, emotions felt by a person who experiences a loss. Although often associated with the death of a loved one, a person can suffer grief and go through a period of mourning after any significant setback, including a job loss, death of a beloved pet, the end of a marriage or other meaningful relationship, and even the loss of a home.
The one universal trigger for grief is loss. Regardless of what that exact loss may be, it is vital that the person suffering from grief, and those who care for them, take their feelings seriously. Many people will recover from loss on their own, but therapy is beneficial for those who don't. While everyone reacts to and recovers from death and loss personally, there are some common symptoms and recovery options.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Grief?
Like those suffering from depression, grieving people are prone to experience both emotional and physical symptoms. Some of the more common emotional symptoms include:
- Irritability – a lack of patience or inability to control one's temper
- Emotional Numbness – an inability to feel any emotion at all
- Detachment – a feeling of being disconnected from those around you
- Bitterness – anger at the world, fate, or God for taking your loved one away.
- Unable to Feel Joy – unlike being emotionally numb, the mourner can feel negative emotions but not positive ones.
- Obsession with Loss – a person may become so preoccupied with the concept of loss that they begin to fear losing everything and everyone around them.
The physical symptoms can sometimes be harder to see, but they are also potentially harmful to the sufferer. These include:
- Digestive problems including nausea, bloating, and diarrhea
- Muscle and joint aches
- Pains in the chest and or shortness of breath
What Are the Risk Factors of Grief?
Anyone who has suffered a significant loss is at risk of grieving. It is important to remember that what may seem like an insignificant loss to one person can feel life-altering to another. When it comes to mental health, there is no "one size fits all" experience.
When Should you Seek Help with Grieving?
There is no definite end to the grieving process, and as such, there is no concrete time frame as to when a person should get over it. It is better to try to determine how much grief impacts the sufferer's daily life to decide whether a counselor or other outside help is necessary. Generally speaking, if a person is incapable of returning to their routine and or has begun self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, it is time to get help.
What Therapies Are Available for Grief?
Like many mental ailments, the treatment for extended or extreme grief may involve a combination of medications and therapy. Your doctor or psychologist may prescribe antidepressants to help you through the worst of it. Even with medication, it is recommended that psychotherapy is included in the treatment program.
Where Can You Go for Professional Help with Grief?
If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering too long or too profoundly from grief, it is time to find help. Contact us at MidValley Healthcare. Our compassionate and experienced team stands at the ready to help you through this or any other emotional or mental issues.