When most people think of grieving, they think about an intense, short period of deep sadness followed by gradual healing and recovery. However, sometimes this is not the case. Sometimes, the severe symptoms of grief last for a prolonged period of time after the loss of a loved one. Additionally, grief can be further complicated if you are grieving after the end of a relationship or an abusive relationship. Mourning these types of losses, where the person is still alive, can also cause complicated grief. Get to know some of the facts about complicated grief as well as the treatments available for it. Then, you can be sure to seek out help if you believe your grief has gone from "normal" to complicated.
Complicated Grief and "Normal" Grief Often Start Out the Same
One of the things to keep in mind is that the intense feelings that go along with complicated grief are also common "symptoms" of what is termed standard or "normal" grief. That intense sadness, the inability to function on a daily basis, the need for time to just cry and be sad, and so on are all a part of the early grieving process.
As such, in the first days or weeks following a loss, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between these two forms of grief. So, if you are really struggling in the first few weeks following the loss of a loved one or relationship, do not panic.
You do not necessarily have complicated grief, and it could lighten up and improve at any time. Now, if this goes on for months and you are still struggling, you might want to seek professional help and guidance.
Complicated Grief Has Many Symptoms
There are many symptoms of complicated grief that a person may have. They do not necessarily have to have all of the symptoms to be diagnosed with complicated grief. These include not being able to focus on anything but the loss, having little to no trust in other people, numbness, issues with acceptance of the loss, difficulty living "normal" life and keeping routines, isolation, depression, and many other symptoms.
If you have any combination of these symptoms and you have been grieving for a while, you may want to seek help. You can get a complicated grief diagnosis and get the care you need.
Therapy Can Help Immensely With Complicated Grief
While doctors may prescribe antidepressants to help get you out of complicated grief, the best treatment possible for the condition (and often the best way to get diagnosed) is to go to therapy. In therapy, you will have a safe space to talk about your grief and your loss. You will not be judged or told you shouldn't feel that way.
Sometimes, the catharsis of just talking about your grief can be healing in and of itself. Therapy also helps you to recognize the symptoms of your complicated grief and to learn to cope and deal with them in healthy ways. The therapist will give you cognitive activities (thinking exercises) to help you better understand and control your thoughts. They will also help you learn to cope with your emotions in productive, healthy ways.
Now that you know some of the facts about complicated grief, you can be sure to seek out the help of therapy if you believe you may have this condition following a loss in your life. To learn more about how therapy can help, contact a facility like the Rinehart Institute.
After developing a chronic physical illness, I soon began realizing that the disease plagued my mind almost more than it did my body. While my illness is not life-threatening, it was very difficult accepting that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and eat a strict diet. After a year of depression, I finally overcame my fear of "exposing" my feelings to others and made an appointment with a mental health counselor. With her help, I was able to see the "silver linings" in life that I had greatly taken for granted before I became ill. I now encourage anyone who is battling an illness of any type to seek the psychological help they need. I plan to post lots of little mental health tips and tricks on my new blog along with advice for choosing a good counselor. Please come back soon!