Grief: Is it healthy to grieve?

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

All humans understand that loss is a part of life but sometimes losing someone or something can be shocking to us such that we may end up being sad for long or depressed. Grieving is the what we experience when we suffer loss. It happens when death occurs or when you lose a job, a relationship (breakup or divorce) or something valuable. There is no right way of grieving, people usually get better with time although the loss will always stay with them but 1 in 10 people may need professional help and support.

Grieving

Everyone has a different way of grieving: some may prefer to talk about it openly whilst others will prefer some alone time. Even people from the same family will end up grieving differently. Grieving is necessary because it allows to free up energy that is bound to the lost person, object or experience. This allows you to reinvest the energy elsewhere. If you do not grieve, you may never move on since that energy will be stuck with you and you will be stuck in the past. Grieving helps to bring you peace rather than being drained with pain.

Stages of grief

  1. Denial- you refuse to accept that you have lost the human or object.
  2. Anger- you became angry when you accept the tragic incidence.
  3. Depression- you start to feel the loss and you become saddened.
  4. Bargaining- you begin to cope and make the resentment go down.
  5. Acceptance- you come to a place of peace.

Symptoms that show that a person is grieving/Experiencing grieving

As mentioned already, people will experience grief differently because the intensity and duration of the grieving process will differ. Others can take weeks or months whilst some may take longer than that. Grieving affects 3 main aspects of the human being: the brain/the thought, the behaviour and the emotional aspect.

Emotional aspect of grief

· Sadness- your brain responds to the loss making you feel sad.

· Anger-you may become angry especially when you think the loss was unfair.

· Guilt -you may feel guilty because you wish you had done something differently to prevent the loss.

· Anxiety-you become tensed and uneasy about things which used to be normal for you.

· Loneliness-the loss makes you realize that a part of you has been lost so you feel empty and lonely.

· Shock- you become shook especially when you were not expecting that loss.

· Disbelief- some will try to deny that the loss has happened.

· Helplessness- you will feel as if all is lost even though it is just a part of you that is lost.

· Yearning-you may yearn to be with that lost person or object.

· Relief-some may feel relief.

Cognitive aspects of grief (thoughts)

· Difficulty concentrating- you tend to lose focus easily.

· Confusion- you become confused over things that are clear.

· Lose interest in fun activities- things don’t look pleasing to you any longer.

· Hallucinate- your mind makes you assume things as if you are seeing or hearing the lost one.

· Nightmares- you can have bad dreams too.

· You remember old conversations, arguments or experiences you had with the lost person or object.

· Others will also have happy memories.

· You have thoughts that they are at peace.

Behaviour/physical aspects of grief

· Keep busy-some do things to get distracted by the loss.

· Social withdrawal- you may decide to stay away from friends and social activities.

· Crying-one of the most common activities people do when they are grieving.

· Sleep disturbances- you may find it difficult to sleep especially at night.

· Loss of appetite- you may lose appetite and eat little.

· Fatigue-you look very tired and weak.

· Muscle tiredness

· People may decide to avoid places or people who remind them of their loss.

· Treasuring objects that are associated with the loss.

· Restlessness

Grief comes in like waves. It goes up and down. Grieving can be spontaneous; they can be out of nowhere or when you miss the person. The feeling of loss is going to rise to some extent and then go down with time. At certain times, you will experience intense moments of loss, the waves then rises but it will go down. People need to know that it is natural to have such feelings and do not try to hide them.

When loss happens, it may change a person’s perspective on ideas and beliefs. For instance, some may question their faith or meaning of life.

There is no stipulated time to grieve. However, some people’s grief last longer than others and others may take a different course and may not get better with time. Psychiatrists term it as ‘prolonged grief’ or ‘persistent complex bereavement disorder’. The major difference between ‘normal grief’ and ‘prolonged grief’ is that it continues at an unbearable rate and impact the person’s life in grave means. It may begin to affect their mental health.

Treatment of grief

Grieving can be difficult and challenging. Some people get over it with time. It depends on the type of loss, the person’s personality and the coping style. Those with prolonged grief may need help to cope. Below are some ways of treating or coping with grief:

· Cognitive behavioral therapy -this has to do with challenging some of the thoughts that come to mind. It is okay to grieve but it should be challenged when the thoughts are becoming toxic.

· Complicated grief treatment- this focuses on re-establishing relationships and focusing on personal goals in life.

· Focused family grief therapy- this type of treatment focuses on the relationships with the family. Good family bonding creates a good environment for people who are experiencing loss.

· Construction approaches- this focuses on allowing individuals who face prolonged grief to find meaning in life again.

The last three have a psychiatrist in between to mediate the process.

Loss is a hit to people whether it was expected or not. Remember to ask for help from people or a psychiatrist if you need it. Mental health is important just like any other aspect of health.

References

1. Australian Psychological Society. Retrieved from https://psychology.org.au/for-the-public/psychology-topics/grief

2. Psychology tools. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytools.com/self-help/grief-loss-and-bereavement.

Grief is like a wave

.

All humans understand that loss is a part of life but sometimes losing someone or something can be shocking to us such that we may end up being sad for long or depressed. Grieving is the what we experience when we suffer loss. It happens when death occurs or when you lose a job, a relationship (breakup or divorce) or something valuable. There is no right way of grieving, people usually get better with time although the loss will always stay with them but 1 in 10 people may need professional help and support.

Grieving

Everyone has a different way of grieving: some may prefer to talk about it openly whilst others will prefer some alone time. Even people from the same family will end up grieving differently. Grieving is necessary because it allows to free up energy that is bound to the lost person, object or experience. This allows you to reinvest the energy elsewhere. If you do not grieve, you may never move on since that energy will be stuck with you and you will be stuck in the past. Grieving helps to bring you peace rather than being drained with pain.

Symptoms that show that a person is grieving/Experiencing grieving

As mentioned already, people will experience grief differently because the intensity and duration of the grieving process will differ. Others can take weeks or months whilst some may take longer than that. Grieving affects 3 main aspects of the human being: the brain/the thought, the behaviour and the emotional aspect.

Emotional aspect of grief

· Sadness- your brain responds to the loss making you feel sad.

· Anger-you may become angry especially when you think the loss was unfair.

· Guilt -you may feel guilty because you wish you had done something differently to prevent the loss.

· Anxiety-you become tensed and uneasy about things which used to be normal for you.

· Loneliness-the loss makes you realize that a part of you has been lost so you feel empty and lonely.

· Shock- you become shook especially when you were not expecting that loss.

· Disbelief- some will try to deny that the loss has happened.

· Helplessness- you will feel as if all is lost even though it is just a part of you that is lost.

· Yearning-you may yearn to be with that lost person or object.

· Relief-some may feel relief.

Cognitive aspects of grief (thoughts)

· Difficulty concentrating- you tend to lose focus easily.

· Confusion- you become confused over things that are clear.

· Lose interest in fun activities- things don’t look pleasing to you any longer.

· Hallucinate- your mind makes you assume things as if you are seeing or hearing the lost one.

· Nightmares- you can have bad dreams too.

· You remember old conversations, arguments or experiences you had with the lost person or object.

· Others will also have happy memories.

· You have thoughts that they are at peace.

Behaviour/physical aspects of grief

· Keep busy-some do things to get distracted by the loss.

· Social withdrawal- you may decide to stay away from friends and social activities.

· Crying-one of the most common activities people do when they are grieving.

· Sleep disturbances- you may find it difficult to sleep especially at night.

· Loss of appetite- you may lose appetite and eat little.

· Fatigue-you look very tired and weak.

· Muscle tiredness

· People may decide to avoid places or people who remind them of their loss.

· Treasuring objects that are associated with the loss.

· Restlessness

Grief comes in like waves. It goes up and down. Grieving can be spontaneous; they can be out of nowhere or when you miss the person. The feeling of loss is going to rise to some extent and then go down with time. At certain times, you will experience intense moments of loss, the waves then rises but it will go down. People need to know that it is natural to have such feelings and do not try to hide them.

When loss happens, it may change a person’s perspective on ideas and beliefs. For instance, some may question their faith or meaning of life.

There is no stipulated time to grieve. However, some people’s grief last longer than others and others may take a different course and may not get better with time. Psychiatrists term it as ‘prolonged grief’ or ‘persistent complex bereavement disorder’. The major difference between ‘normal grief’ and ‘prolonged grief’ is that it continues at an unbearable rate and impact the person’s life in grave means. It may begin to affect their mental health.

Treatment of grief

Grieving can be difficult and challenging. Some people get over it with time. It depends on the type of loss, the person’s personality and the coping style. Those with prolonged grief may need help to cope. Below are some ways of treating or coping with grief:

· Cognitive behavioral therapy -this has to do with challenging some of the thoughts that come to mind. It is okay to grieve but it should be challenged when the thoughts are becoming toxic.

· Complicated grief treatment- this focuses on re-establishing relationships and focusing on personal goals in life.

· Focused family grief therapy- this type of treatment focuses on the relationships with the family. Good family bonding creates a good environment for people who are experiencing loss.

· Construction approaches- this focuses on allowing individuals who face prolonged grief to find meaning in life again.

The last three have a psychiatrist in between to mediate the process.

Loss is a hit to people whether it was expected or not. Remember to ask for help from people or a psychiatrist if you need it. Mental health is important just like any other aspect of health.

References

1. Australian Psychological Society. Retrieved from https://psychology.org.au/for-the-public/psychology-topics/grief

2. Psychology tools. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytools.com/self-help/grief-loss-and-bereavement.

Grief is like a wave

.

Psychology

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the knowledge she has acquired.