Most people experience grief, or sadness over a loss, for up to six months after the grief event. However, if symptoms of grief continue for more than six months, the issue may have developed into a chronic grief issue, which can be treated by medical professionals.
Treatment can provide you with relief from the profound and debilitating sadness that characterizes chronic grief. Contact us today to learn more about the types of treatment that will help you begin to put your life back together after loss.
Signs of Chronic Grief
Sadness is unavoidable when someone you care about dies or when you experience a traumatic life change, like a divorce. In fact, almost any reaction makes sense in the first weeks after a huge loss. However, when symptoms become extreme and remain constant for months at a time, it’s important to get appropriate treatment to address the issue. Some signs of chronic grief include:
- An inability to take care of yourself
- An inability to leave the house or get out of bed
- Isolating yourself for long periods
- Losing your job/school progress because you can’t focus
- No longer investing in your relationships with others
- Unable to accept that the loss occurred
- If death is the loss, then believing that the death did not occur or searching for your lost loved one
- A belief that your life is worthless or that life isn’t worth living
*5 Stages of Grief
- Denial. You can’t or won’t believe that the grief event happened.
- Anger. You look for someone to blame for your loss.
- Bargaining. Searching for a way to undo your loss by offering to sacrifice yourself or something you love.
- Depression. Overwhelming sadness that wipes out your ability to do anything.
- Acceptance. A calm understanding of your loss.
Tips for Dealing With Chronic Grief
Chronic grief may require intervention and treatment but grief can be treated one day at a time by taking certain steps to free yourself from the weight of sadness. Here are some tips that may help you to begin healing:
- Allow your friends and family to support you.
- Join a support group.
- Go to grief counseling.
- Maintain your physical health.
- Eat right and exercise.
- Don’t try to bury your feelings.
- Don’t push yourself (or allow anyone else to push you) to process your feelings faster than you feel comfortable with.
- Learn how to handle triggers, or the things that remind you of your loss unexpectedly.
*Helping Someone You Love Deal With Grief
- Don’t minimize your loved one’s loss or pretend that everything should be fine.
- Be open about their loss and express your concern for them.
- Be honest; don’t pretend to understand what they’re going through if you have never gone through a similar loss.
- Ask how your loved one is doing.
- Let them know that they have your support.
Types of Grief Treatment
There are a number of ways to deal with chronic grief, and if you are struggling with normal grief, treatment may help as well. Here are some of the options available to you:
- Personal therapy. Talking one on one to a therapist about your loss and your feelings behind it can help you to heal.
- Support groups. Talking to others who are going through similar difficulties can help you to share your grief, get support from others, and give your support as well.
- Medication. In some cases, it may be a good idea to take anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants, depending upon the specifics of your symptoms.
Are you ready to talk to someone about your grief issues? Would you like to take a small step toward moving forward with your life? When you are ready, our counselors will be standing by, ready to walk you through the first step toward getting the treatment you need to begin feeling like your old self again.