Following the loss of someone or something important to us, we can experience feelings of grief. Grief is an emotional reaction to irretrievable loss, which we all feel at some stage in our lives.
Grief can occur following the death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of a pet, loss of a job, or a change to your way of life. The grief you experience in these instances is a normal response to a life event.
When you lose someone or something important, it can take time to adjust. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Reactions to Grief:
Grief is expressed in many ways and it can affect every part of your life; your thoughts and behaviours, emotions, beliefs, physical health, your sense of of self and identity, and your relationships with others. The intensity, duration and our reactions to grief will differ from person to person. Some common reactions include:
- Feelings of overwhelming sadness
- Shock, denial, numbness
- Anxious symptoms
- Loneliness, isolation, and withdrawal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities
- Feelings of helplessness
Many of these reactions may not be constant but instead come in waves; often triggered by memories or occasions. The first few days after a loss are particularly intense emotionally. Many people describe that they function on ‘auto’ for a while just to get through.
Everyone experiences grief differently. Some people may grieve for weeks and months, while others may describe their grief lasting for years.
Is It Depression?
Grief and depression can appear to be similar as they both lead to feelings of intense sadness, insomnia, poor appetite, and weight loss. Depression however, is more persistent, with constant feelings of emptiness and despair and a difficulty feeling pleasure or joy.
If you notice that depressive symptoms continue, or your grief begins to get in the way of how you live day-to-day, then its important to seek help.
If grief is becoming too overwhelming for you or someone you know, get in touch with our practice today to see how we can help.