Coping with Grief and Loss – Therapists in Columbia SC
To Love is ultimately to lose what we had the privilege of loving.
-Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Mental health care professionals agree that one of the most helpful ways to work through sadness associated with loss is to express your grief, and not hold it in. Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. Even if you aren’t comfortable talking about your feelings, having an outlet to express them when you’re grieving is important. Sharing the story of your loss can make the burden of grief easier to deal with. One of the many challenges associated with grieving is adjusting to the new reality of living in the absence of what you once had. This often requires developing a new routine, envisioning a new future, and even adopting a new sense of identity. Meeting with a trained grief counselor can help.
We experience grief and loss due to changes in life roles, loss of ability, loss of employment, the ending of a relationship, or death of a loved one. Examples include:
- Loss of health
- Loss of financial stability
- A miscarriage
- Loss of a cherished dream
- Loss of safety after trauma
- A loved one’s serious illness
- Selling the family home
A trained counselor will assess whether the grief related symptoms are normal, prolonged or complicated. Grief is sometimes compared to riding a rollercoaster of emotions with some moments feeling very intense. Being patient with the process and allowing yourself to have any feelings about the loss can help. If you feel stuck in your grief, talking to a counselor may help you move forward in the healing process.
Common symptoms include:
- Feeling like you are “going crazy”
- Difficulty concentrating,
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Feeling irritable
- Angry or rage (at the deceased, oneself, situations, higher powers)
- Feeling frustrated
- Experiencing anxiety or nervousness,
- Lack of energy and motivation/losing interest in activities once enjoyed.