Woman in grief at the loss of her partner

Grief is a normal response to a loss which affects ones emotionally, physically, psychologically and behaviourally. This loss could be death of a loved one, separation or divorce, loss of job, loss of health or disability.

Each one copes with loss in different ways and this is influenced by culture or religious beliefs.

Woman in grief over the death of her child

As time passes people are able to cope and return back to their normal level of functioning. If however you are finding this hard then it is important to consult with your GP and see a psychologist. Approximately 10%-20% require professional support.

Symptoms

People who are grieving experience emotional responses like:

  • sadness
  • anger
  • guilt and remorse
  • anxiety
  • loneliness
  • helplessness
  • shock and disbelief
  • a sense of yearning
  • relief.

Cognitive changes like:

  • confusion
  • difficulty concentrating
  • preoccupation with the loss
  • a loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • vivid dreams or nightmares

Physical and Behavioural Changes like”

  • muscle tightness
  • tiredness/reduced energy
  • sleep disturbances
  • social withdrawal
  • changes in appetite
  • crying
  • restlessness
  • avoiding places or people who remind the individual of the loss
  • treasuring objects that are associated with the loss.
Physical Changes due to grief

Treatment of Grief

APS approved treatment for grief includes:

Duration and Intensity

Can vary from individuals and also influenced by culture. Sometimes duration can be from weeks to months. Usually if one is not returning back to functioning after 6 months then professional help is recommended.

Also, if grief is dominating one’s life totally, the intensity is severe then professional help is recommended.

Grief can occur with depression, PTSD and Substance abuse

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