While one person may choose to withdraw from their social circles for a while, another may choose to surround themselves with friends and family.
While grief normally runs its own course over time, some people will experience complications in their personal grief process and can struggle to accept the loss. In these cases, the experienced psychologists from CFHP (Centre for Human Potential) can provide effective grief counselling Brisbane wide to help you work through the process in a healthy and positive way.
However you experience and handle grief, it’s important to know that you don’t have to deal with it on your own. If you are finding it difficult to cope with daily life after a loss, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from our dedicated team of psychologists.
What is Grief?
Each person has their own way of coping with loss. The grief experience however, is somewhat similar from one person to another. It is more than merely an emotional reaction to the loss but in fact also encompasses changes in cognitive, social and psychological functioning.
In most cases, the grief response will resolve itself naturally over time, but when your grief is complicated by other factors then it may take longer to resolve, and you may require assistance and grief counselling in working through your loss.
While most people feel very sad and become quite tearful after losing someone, there are other experiences of grief as well and it can manifest itself in various ways and emotions. Some people may experience some denial of the loss, where they will feel shocked and will struggle to accept that this person is no longer with them.
They may feel angry and find themselves feeling quite irritable with those around them. In some cases, they may begin to feel quite anxious and worried about how life will be without the person they have lost. They may begin to lose confidence in themselves and withdraw socially. Still others may experience complete numbness and struggle to feel any emotion at all.
Many people begin to experience symptoms of depression, namely; feeling low, tired and lethargic, wanting to withdraw socially, experiencing sleep disturbance and appetite disturbance, and in some cases, having thoughts of death and suicide.
There is no right or wrong way to experience and work through grief. The process is entirely different for everyone and very personal to you.
It’s also crucial to note that while grief is most commonly experienced after a loss or bereavement, it can also come about from other circumstances in your life, especially major transitions.
These can include:
- A divorce or separation from your partner
- Losing your job
- Being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, or disability
- A serious and significant injury
- Learning that you are not able to have children
- A miscarriage
- Losing a deeply loved pet
Signs and Symptoms of Grief
Grief is the normal response to loss or bereavement and encompasses a range of diverse emotions such as anger, sorrow, confusion, anxiety, restlessness, disbelief, panic or even numbness. These emotions are very personal to you and your situation, and will vary in intensity and duration depending on the individual.
The most common sign of grief is of course crying, which ranges from subdued sounds to outright sobbing. Other signs and symptoms can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Difficultly sleeping
- Aches and pains
- A general feeling of fatigue
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Grief is the direct result of the depth of feeling or emotion caused by a loss. If the deceased person was an acquaintance, the emotional attachment to that person would be far less than if it was someone deeply loved such as a spouse, parent, sibling or child.
While bereavements should not be subjected to comparisons, the loss of a child for example has been described by parents as a sorrow without any boundaries and the worst pain they have ever experienced.
They talk about feeling “absolutely gutted, helpless, useless, drained of all energy, overwhelmed with sorrow, and powerless”. Such deep and powerful emotions will ebb and flow, and may often be released through intense crying followed by periods of silence and contemplation.
Grieving is a process that has no finite conclusion. The time it takes is the time it needs, and this is different for everyone. Some people are able to pick up the threads of their lives and continue on quickly, while for others it can take months or sometimes years to get some semblance of normality back into their lives.
If you have experienced a deep loss such as a death or a relationship breakdown, you are at risk of becoming overwhelmed by their grief to the extent that you are not able to cope with normal, daily life. Children are affected differently from adults due to the obvious differences in age and emotional understanding, and in the case of a death or relationship breakdown, those closest to the person who is now absent from their lives are the most deeply affected.
But no matter what your personal situation is, having professional help through this challenging time in your life can be extremely beneficial in helping you regain normality. At CFHP you can speak with a professional psychologist Brisbane wide, with the experience and training to guide you along this path.
Grief in and of itself does not require treatment. If anything, you require just a supportive area where you can experience your sadness and work through your feelings of loss. However, if symptoms of depression or anxiety arise and your functioning becomes impaired, then it may be necessary to be treated with antidepressants and other appropriate medications.
Therapy will be used in conjunction with the medication to help you cope with your grief and work through your feelings with a trained professional.
Our grief counselling Brisbane services and therapy are about assisting you to accept the loss and readjust to the world around you without this person in your life. Through the supportive work in counselling, you will then be able to develop new relationships and to move forward with effective coping skills.
Sessions of counselling with a psychologist from CFHP will help you move through the stages of grief and realise that this process is entirely normal. Eventually, you will be able to resolve the grief process and reach acceptance of the loss, to move forward with your life in a healthy and optimistic way.
You should consider seeking professional help to process and get through your grief after a loss if you have not been able to get back to a normal routine, such as going back to your job or caring for your children.
Without this help, your personal relationships can be affected, there could be an increase in your use of drugs or alcohol, and you may start experiencing regular panic attacks or thinking continuously about self-harm or harming someone else.
Grief can be very damaging if it’s not worked through and resolved in a healthy way. If you are finding yourself in any of these situations, it is highly advised that you seek professional grief counselling Brisbane from CFHP.
A grieving person can do a lot to help themselves through the process. Having a strong support network of a caring family and friends is an excellent prop, but other things can also make a real difference such as:
- Creating a memorial – either a place or an event – that honours the loved one
- Expressing thoughts and emotions privately by writing a poem or a story about the person’s life
- Reading about other people who have had similar experiences
Doing something physical to release any pent-up feelings or energy, for example; go for brisk walks, swim laps, sign up for yoga or tai-chi classes, etc.
How to Support Loves Ones Experiencing Grief
The best way to support someone through the grieving process is to let them know that you are always available for them. Keep in regular contact, meet them socially once a week, talk to them and share memories and stories.
Listen to their experiences of the grieving process and do not assume that they are coping just because there are no outward signs of grief. Everyone grieves differently, and their process is as real and important to them as your own.
If you are feeling overwhelmed due to loss or bereavement, or know someone who is grieving and would benefit from talking with a professional, contact our dedicated team of psychologists at CFHP for help and guidance along this path.
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