Grief Treatment at Promises

Grief is the emotional reaction to a loss. It is normal to experience deep sadness after losing a person, pet, place, job or situation that is a valued part of your life. You may also experience grief before a loss occurs. This is anticipatory grief. It occurs when a loved one is ill or elderly and death is unavoidable.

Grieving is also known as loss and bereavement. It is the process of adjusting to life following a loss and getting through the difficult time. There is no “normal” or expected time for grieving. Some people will return to normal functioning within weeks or months. Others who have experienced a traumatic and unexpected loss need more time. Whatever the case, you must allow yourself to grieve and honor your mourning process.

Some people have an abnormal grief reaction where grief goes unresolved over time. This is called complex grief disorder. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. With complex grief, bereavement becomes the norm in a person’s life. Life no longer holds meaning. It is important to seek a grief and loss counseling center with grief therapists if this occurs.

Comprehensive Grief Counseling with Grief Therapists

therapist consoles crying patient in a grief and loss counseling centerThe goal of grief therapy is to help people deal with grief and intense emotions. The bereaved learns to manage their reactions to loss and work through their grief process.

Promises provides comprehensive treatment for people struggling with grief. We can also help with related mental health issues or substance abuse problems. We recognize that everyone copes with loss in their own way. Sometimes coping behaviors are healthy, but sometimes they are destructive like drug abuse. Our team works with you to develop a plan and supports you through every step of the recovery process. There are many grief and loss counseling techniques and types of therapy that can help. Some examples include individual and group therapy, support groups, and family counseling. Mindfulness and alternative therapies that heal body, mind, and spirit also help.

Grief and loss counseling helps you work through unresolved grief. Grief therapists address past loss that causes disruptions in people’s daily lives. When in grief counseling treatment, you will come to understand the five stages of grief and learn new ways to heal.

Warning Signs of Grief and Loss

Every person experiences grief and loss in unique ways. Symptoms of grief vary depending on the relationship the bereaved had with the person, situation or object lost. It also depends on the individual’s personality, life experiences and ability to cope. Grief therapists say that grief is a problem when it’s severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Grief and loss can affect your health and lead to complicated grief and serious illnesses like major or clinical depression and substance abuse. Warning signs of complex grief may include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Anger
  • Anxiety or worry
  • Crying
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue and/or weakness
  • Feeling detached from others
  • Feelings of heaviness
  • Feeling empty or numb, as if in shock
  • Frustration
  • Guilt
  • Headaches
  • Isolation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Questioning the reason for the loss, the purpose of pain and suffering, and/or the purpose of life and death
  • Stress-related ailments

Disenfranchised Grief

The death of a loved one is a widely accepted form of loss, but there are many other ways people experience loss. It is not always about a deceased person. Grief can take hold after loss of a pet. It can happen after a divorce or losing a job. It is prevalent after loss of health due to illness and even when stopping smoking. Friends and family may not always honor your grief if it does not involve the physical death of a loved one. It is important for you to know the losses in life that can lead to grief and to honor all grieving processes.

Some of the losses that may result in grief include:

  • A miscarriage or stillbirth (for both the mother and the spouse/family)
  • The birth of a child with a birth defect
  • Infertility diagnosis
  • Being diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness
  • Suffering a disability from a severe illness or accident
  • Loss of independence after an accident or serious illness
  • Loss of a job
  • Moving from a familiar home
  • A natural disaster or act of violence
  • Learning that a child has a learning disability or behavioral problem
  • Finding out a family member is abusing drugs or alcohol

Major life changes that seem positive and normal can also cause grief. Some examples include:

  • Getting married – loss of independent decision-making, for some
  • Birth of a child – loss of independence
  • Retirement – loss of income, daily social contact, work-related identity
  • Aging – loss of physical strength, changes in appearance, diminished energy and/or mental functioning
  • Moving out of the house – loss of dependence on parents
  • Starting school – loss of the comfort of familiar surroundings at home with the family

Grief can also occur on the anniversaries of a major loss. It is important to experience grief and address all the reasons for grief in your life. Unacknowledged grief can lead to major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thought and actions.

Get Help. Find Hope.

When someone close to you dies or you suffer any loss, you can’t expect to snap back right away. Even if you are healthy, any significant loss results in grief. Too many losses in a short period of time can also result in grief.

Find out how we treat grief and co-occurring disorders at Promises. Call us at  1.713.528.3709 and get back to living.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 27, 2019