Bereavement refers specifically to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one and grief is the reaction to any form of loss.
Both encompass range of feelings from deep sadness to anger, and the process of adapting to a significant loss can vary dramatically from one person.
It all depends on their background, beliefs, relationship to what was lost, and other factors.
Grieving Thoughts and Behaviors
Grief is associated with feelings of sadness, yearning, guilt, regret, and anger, among others.
Some people can experience a sense of meaninglessness, and others can feel a sense of relief.
Emotions are often surprising in their strength or mildness, and they can also be confusing, such as when a person misses a relationship.
Grief thoughts can vary from "there's nothing I can do about it" to "it’s my fault I could have done more" or from "she had a good life" to "it wasn't her time." All are the grief symptoms.
They can be troubling or soothing, and people in grief can bounce between different thoughts as they make sense of their loss.
The different feelings, thoughts, and behaviors people express during grief can be categorized into two main styles: instrumental and intuitive.
Most people display a blend of these two styles of grieving:
- Instrumental Grieving
It involves focusing primarily on problem-solving tasks while controlling or minimizing emotional expression.
- Intuitive Grieving
This is based on a heightened emotional experience that leads to sharing feelings and also exploring the lost relationship, considering mortality, and identifying meaning in life.
There are no right or wrong way to experience grief, though some thoughts and behaviors after a loss can be more helpful or safe than others.
The Process of Recovering from Grief
Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time but some people recover from grief and resume normal activities within six months, though they continue to feel moments of sadness.
Others can feel better after about a year, and sometimes people continue to grieve for years without seeming to improve or find relief even temporarily.
Grief can be complicated by other conditions, most notably depression, or by the person's level of dependency on the departed.
One of the many challenges associated with grieving the loss of a loved one, whether to death or the dissolution of a relationship.
This can be adjusting to the new reality of living in the absence of the loved one and it often requires developing new routines, envisioning new future, and even adopting a new sense of identity.
Out of the Darkness;
Three Steps to Emotional Healing
- Breathing Lessons for Coping with Grief
- Creating Rituals to Move Through Grief
- Complicated Grief
The experience of grief is not something a person ever recovers from completely, but time typically tempers its intensity
The term complicated grief refers to a persistent form of bereavement that dominates a person's life.
And it also interferes with people's daily life for an extended period of time and this kind of grief includes;
- Intense sadness
- Preoccupation with the deceased or with the circumstances surrounding the death
- Longing or yearning
- Feelings of emptiness or meaninglessness
- Difficulty engaging in happy memories
- Avoidance of reminders of the deceased
- Lack of desire in pursuing personal interests or plans
- Bitterness or anger
The DSM-5 includes diagnostic criteria for "persistent complex bereavement disorder" in the section of conditions requiring further study.
Therapy for Grief Symptoms
When a person's grief-related thoughts, behaviors, or feelings are distressing, unrelenting, or incite concern,
A qualified mental health professional may be able to help to your grief symptoms.
Therapy is an effective way to learn to cope with the stressors associated with the loss and to manage grief symptoms with techniques such as relaxation.
When someone close to you dies, or you lose your job, suffer from chronic or terminal illness, experience a violent act or go through a natural disaster.
You don't snap back with no ill effects and even if you are a physically and emotionally healthy person.
Any loss of a significant nature, or too many losses in a short period of time, results in some form of grief.
To learn more about grief and loss counseling and treatment for co-occurring disorders at Wisdom Treatment center. Please call our help line or contact us through our website.