What are symptoms of grief?
There may be both physical and emotional symptoms of grief. These include:
- Physical symptoms:
- Body aches
- Weight loss or gain
- Emotional symptoms:
What are the stages of grief?
Some popular symptoms during the grieving process have been categorized as the five stages of grief. They include:
Not everyone will go through all five stages, nor will they be in sequential order during the grieving process.
How do you diagnose grief?
Grief may be difficult to distinguish from depression. The best way to receive an accurate diagnosis is from a licensed healthcare provider. They will perform a complete analysis of symptoms and medical history to provide a diagnosis between the two.
Is there a test to confirm grief?
Currently, there are no specific tests to confirm grief.
What are some strategies that may be used to overcome grief?
- Talk about your loved one and their death. You may suffer from isolation if you avoid talking about them and their death which prolongs the process.
- Develop a support system with those also coping with a similar loss as you. This may be beneficial for everyone suffering from the loss.
- You may experience a wide range of feelings and emotions, so acceptance is needed.
- Continue taking care of yourself by eating healthy, exercise, and getting plenty of rest.
- Having anniversaries to remember your loved ones may be difficult but may also be a way of honoring them.
- Draw support from your faith if you have a religious tradition that offers comfort with its mourning ceremonies.
What happens if grief never goes away?
Pain from losing something or someone you love may not ever completely go away. However, if this grief is interfering with returning to your everyday life, you may be experiencing complicated grief.
What is complicated grief?
Complicated grief is being stuck in severe mourning. These symptoms may include:
- Extreme anger about the loss
- Feeling of emptiness
- Avoiding memories or images of the loss
- Looking for the loved one
- Denial of the death or loss
- Belief or imagination that your loved one is still alive
- Intense sadness
Complicated grief can also manifest as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if the death was sudden or violent.
When is professional help needed?
As discussed, grief is a normal process needed to overcome the loss. Individuals suffering from severe grief will benefit from seeing a licensed healthcare professional such as our trained specialists at the Specialty Clinic of Austin. If there is a feeling that life is no longer worth living, seek help immediately.
American Psychological Association. (2020, Jan). Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one. https://www.apa.org/topics/grief
HelpGuide. (2020, Sept). Coping with Grief and Loss. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm
Neimeyer, R.A., Burke, L.A., Mackay, M.M. et al. Grief Therapy and the Reconstruction of Meaning: From Principles to Practice. J Contemp Psychother 40, 73–83 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-009-9135-3
NEIMEYER, R.A. (1999) NARRATIVE STRATEGIES IN GRIEF THERAPY, Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 12:1, 65-85, DOI: 10.1080/107205399266226
Wetherell J. L. (2012). Complicated grief therapy as a new treatment approach. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 14(2), 159–166. https://doi.org/10.31887/DCNS.2012.14.2/jwetherell