Mental Health Blog

Grief

Posted by Sarah Carter on

 

Grief is a word that people use to describe the mourning period after a loss. Widows go through grief, as does anyone who loses a loved one, even if the death was anticipated and the person was ready to let go. Many people don’t realize what grief can encompass or how it presents. Grief is known as the aftermath of death and is usually viewed as sadness, but it can be caused by a great deal of situations. Grief can come up when you:

  • Lose a family member or friend
  • Lose a job
  • Break off a relationship
  • Move to a new city
  • Switch churches
  • Lose a pet
  • Graduate from school
  • Are distanced from a friend
  • Get a medical diagnosis
  • Get a mental health diagnosis
  • Lose your mobility
  • Get divorced

It is sometimes hard to remember that grief doesn’t solely happen after a death but can occur during almost any transition or loss. Many people don’t realize that what they are experiencing is grief, so they don’t fully understand how they are reacting and don’t give themselves space to heal after. Grief doesn’t always hit immediately, sometimes a period of shock or adjustment happens before someone experiences grief. Having a journal to keep track of changes, as well as how you’re handling them, can help you get through each step of a major loss or transition. Having some sort of stability can also help in grief-inducing situations, whether that is a weekly coffee with a friend or Sunday dinner with family. Kids especially need to have a stable influence during times of transition and stress, but that can be as simple as keeping a normal bedtime routine or having their favorite stuffed animal with them at all times during a move. 

Signs of grief:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of sorrow and loss
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss or increase of appetite
  • Sleeping changes
  • Confusion or inability to focus
  • Difficult dreams
  • Restlessness
  • Anger
  • Feeling like you have no control

If you have gone through a major transition and are experiencing a group of these symptoms, feel free to reach out to your therapist or a good friend to talk about how you’re doing and what you need to get through this stressful time. Grief can hit at different times for different things and having a trusted person in your life with whom you can discuss this transition is so important.

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