Grief And Loss

After losing someone or something we love, feelings of unhappiness and pain can be intense. This is called grief and it is important to remember that everyone responds to these experiences in their own way. For those experiencing overwhelming grief that is difficult to handle, talking to a mental health professional can help with responding to loss and developing healthy coping strategies.

When loss occurs, it is natural to experience a strong emotional response. However, prolonged grief that results in preoccupation with a person who died, intrusive thoughts, and other emotions that persist for longer than six months and affect work, school, relationships, and home life may require professional treatment. Other symptoms associated with prolonged grief include intense emotional pain (e.g. anger and helplessness), disbelief about the death, emotional numbness, and intense feelings of loneliness or detachment.

Speaking with a healthcare provider is the first step in diagnosing and treating grief. A mental health professional will conduct an evaluation to assess your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Most people benefit from medications and one-on-one therapy to process thoughts and feelings about death and address other unresolved issues. Before your visit, start keeping a journal to record your feelings and symptoms. This is important information to share with your doctor and can help you start the conversation.