What is Grief and Loss?
Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, pregnancy, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility and separation from friends and family – the more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be. Grief is expressed in many ways and it can affect every part of life; emotions, thoughts and behaviour, beliefs, physical health, sense of self and identity, and relationships with others. Grief can leave people feeling sad, angry, anxious, shocked, regretful, relieved, overwhelmed, isolated, irritable or numb.
There is no set pattern to the grieving process – it can be experienced differently. Some people may grieve for weeks and months, while others may describe their grief lasting for years. Through the process of grief, however, people begin to create new experiences and habits that work around loss. Grief is something that takes time to work through. While everyone finds their own way to grieve it’s important to have the support of friends and family or someone else, and to talk about this loss.
Grief and depression are quite different but they can appear similar as they can both lead to feelings of intense sadness, insomnia, poor appetite and weight loss. Depression stands out from grief as being more persistent, with constant feelings of emptiness and despair and a difficulty feeling pleasure or joy. If depression symptoms continue, or grief begins to get in the way of everyday activities, then it’s important to get support or professional help.
Opening the lines of communication is the first step towards addressing feelings of grief and loss. A qualified mental health professional can provide a safe and comfortable environment for a client to begin the conversation and take an introspective look at their emotions and coping mechanisms. We have helped dozens of clients go through the stages of grief and loss in order to move forward.
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