When Grief Doesn’t Ease
Sometimes it feels like your grief will never end.
Grief counselors and psychologists tell us that the amount of time it takes to mourn the loss of a loved one depends on:
- the situation,
- how much we were attached to the deceased,
- how they died,
- our age and gender.
There are many variables and there is no way to predict how long will it take to adjust to your loss.
The difference between normal and complicated grief.
Research findings have led experts to come up with many different categories of grief experiences ranging from normal to complicated.
Normal (or simple) grief has no timeline and includes a number of common feelings and behaviors after a loss, such as physical discomfort, guilt, hostility, concern with the image of the deceased, and inability to function properly as before. from loss. All of this is normal and presents us with deep - and seemingly endless - challenges. However, Katherine Walsh claims that: "Over time and with social support... most people gradually experience a diminishment of these feelings, behaviors and sensations."
So how do you know if your grief is no longer within the normal range? Ms. Walsh goes on to say: "While there is no specific time period for which it is normal to mourn, if a person or family members continue to experience grief intensely or for an extended period of time - or even for unexpectedly years after a loss - they can benefit from a treatment for complicated grief. "
A useful evaluation model: Worden’s four steps to combat grief
There are certain steps that, when achieved during your mourning, can help you walk the path of loss and get out of it as a better, stronger and more resilient person.
James Worden suggested the following four steps:
• Acceptance of loss
• Process the pain of grief
• Adaptation to a world without the deceased
• Finding a lasting connection with the deceased during the transition to a new life
Instead of focusing on your physical difficulties, your emotions, and common behaviors, this model allows you to better see where you may be stuck or have stopped adjusting.
12 Indications… 12 Signs
While mourning theorists tell us that diagnosing complicated grief should not be attempted until after the first anniversary of death, if any of the following symptomatic signs persist for more than six months, you may want to consider grief counseling or grief therapy:
- You cannot talk about the deceased without feeling intense and new waves of sadness long after the loss.
- A relatively small event causes a strong grief reaction.
- Your conversations with others are full of references of loss. In other words, loss is an ever-present pattern in the view you have now formed about the world.
- You have issues with your loved one's belongings. Keeping everything as it was before their death could indicate a problem, just as rejecting all things immediately after death can also be a sign of disturbed mourning.
- You have developed physical symptoms similar to those of the deceased before his death. Sometimes these symptoms appear annually, on the anniversary of death or on holidays. Increased susceptibility to disease or the development of chronic physical illness can also be an indicator.
- If you have made radical changes in your lifestyle or have excluded friends, family members or even activities related to the deceased, this may indicate unresolved grief.
- Depression over a long period of time, which is often characterized by guilt or low self-esteem, can reveal disordered grief. The opposite is also true: a person experiencing a false sense of happiness or excitement could be experiencing an unresolved grief.
- A compulsion to imitate the deceased, in personality or behavior, can be a sign of complicated mourning.
- Self-destructive impulses or self-destructive behaviors are a serious indication. These can range from substance abuse, self-harm, the development of eating disorders and suicidal tendencies.
- A feeling of unexplained sadness that occurs at a particular time each year (holidays, anniversaries or birthdays) can also be an indication of unresolved grief.
- The development of a strong fear of death, especially when it relates to the illness that took the life of your loved one, is an important indication.
- If you have avoided visiting the grave of your loved one or if you still do not want to discuss the circumstances of their death, this could indicate complications in your mourning.
There are many types of complicated grief; it can be delayed, covered, exaggerated or chronic.
A year after death, if you feel any symptoms of grief worsening,
we advise you to seek a referral from your family doctor for professional grief therapy.
At Gesios Funeral Home, we provide experienced psychological support staff for our customers.
For further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us by phone at +30 2310 41 99 99 or even visit us at one of our offices in Thessaloniki.
Urban Non-Profit Company
Frangon 13, Tel. contact +30 2310 510010
The MERIMNA Counseling Center in Thessaloniki provides psychological support to children, adolescents and their families when a loved one is ill or has died. This psychological support is completely free. Families with children up to 18 years of age can seek support, if someone of their family members are seriously ill or have died. At the same time, they inform and raise awareness of the public about issues related to serious illnesses, death and mourning of children and adolescents. More information can be found at www.merimna.org.gr .
- Gelsini Zoi, Psychologist
Panagouli 2, PC 412 22, Larissa.
Tel. +30 2410 535018, Mob.: + 30 6943 998047
- Papamichael Panagiota, Clinical Psychologist. Systemic psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families
Certified Drug Addiction Advisor (ICRC)
Painting 80, Piraeus, Athens.
Mob.: + 30 6973680066