What to Expect When You’re Grieving

If you find yourself suffering from a loss, whether it be the loss of an important job or the loss of a loved one, you will most likely be going through the grieving process in order to cope with said loss. Those who are grieving for the first time often wonder what they should be experiencing when they are going through the process. Although grief is different for everyone, there are certain symptoms that are common for most and there are symptoms that point to a deeper problem.

What are some common symptoms of grief?

Emotional:

Grief can bring on a variety of different emotions, including anger, sadness, anxiety, guilt, and feelings of numbness or detachment. Depending on the situation, you may experience all of these emotions or you may experience very few. However, sadness, anger, and feelings of numbness are a few emotions that everyone dealing with a loss should expect to feel.

Physical:

Grief not only affects the mind but the body as well. Those going through the grieving process often complain about head and body aches, stomach problems, a lack of energy, insomnia or oversleeping, nausea, weight gain/loss, and restlessness. Additionally, research has proven that grief can cause cardiac and immune problems in those who have recently experienced a deep loss. These health problems will gradually decrease over time.

Psychological:

Some people may experience times during the grieving process in which they may smell, hear, or see their loved ones. They may also consciously or unconsciously do things similar to their loved ones in an attempt to hold onto them. These are both normal and they shouldn’t be a concern unless the symptoms last longer than the grieving process does or pose a danger to others.

What symptoms should I seek help for?

Grief becomes a problem when it brings on depression, intense anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. If you feel as though your grief is becoming worse over time, seek help from a mental health professional. If you feel as though you are in danger of harming yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911 if you have already taken action.

Grief is a natural part of life, but it can occasionally cause severe symptoms. If you’re struggling with your grief, or even if you aren’t, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A strong support system will help you to deal with your loss and continue living a happy, healthy life.

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