Few, if any, things in life compare to losing someone you love. Especially unexpected or sudden losses, they can really be difficult to grieve and process. While many people work through grief and can move forward in life to some extent, others may find they get stuck in the despair and pain. Finding your own path out of the darkness is the key to coping with complicated grief.
Complicated vs. Normal Grief
The grief most people experience follows the loss of someone they love and flows into a normal grieving process. Even if everyone grieves differently, people can experience a loss of any kind (health, physical, disability, even death) and still make an adjustment to life that helps them move forward. Normal grief usually includes:
- Sadness and regret
- Wishing you had done more
- Struggling with feelings of guilt
- Wanting to change things that were left undone
Complicated grief usually starts the same way as normal grief but, along the way, becomes stalled. Considering the devastating and often debilitating impact it can have, complicated grief may turn into tragic losses that compound. Complicated grief stems from the fact the normal grieving process is hindered. Some symptoms of this include:
- Intense, prolonged desire for the loved one
- Thoughts of loved one that elicit sorrow and emotional pain
- Preoccupation with their death
- Intrusive thoughts of loved one
- Emotional numbness
- Feeling detached from others and life
- Deep seated bitterness
- Believing life has no purpose or meaning
- Blaming yourself
- Difficulty doing day-to-day tasks
Other factors including difficulty sleeping, conflicts at work or home, and anxiety or other mental health issues may compound the grief.
When you seek therapeutic support for grief, it can help to find mental health professionals and counselors who understand the struggles. When you struggle with the impact of grief, it can lead to many complications. A therapist who can work with all these modalities to support you will be your best bet. This may include supportive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, pastoral counseling, medications, and focusing on various theories of how people grieve including:
- Attachment theory focused on how people are hardwired to attachments and supporting the grief process
- Acute grief therapeutic support that helps you move on without the loved one
The benefits of treatment can support the elimination of negative emotions attached to grief. The goal is to help you experience joy again. When you feel a sense of closure, you will feel more freedom to live your life again and have a sense of wholeness. This will improve functioning in all areas of your life.
Sound Recovery helps you process what you need to move forward in life. Whether it is deep grief or substance abuse, we work with you to support all your individual needs. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.