Grief and Loss Counseling in Round Rock, TX—Counselors, Therapists
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges an individual must face. Sometimes our grief can get the best of us and lead to unhealthy emotions and behavior. That is where a counselor at Thriveworks Round Rock can help. Our trained clinicians will provide you with the tools to cope effectively with your loss. Let’s explore what grief looks like and possible indicators that you need further assistance.
What Should I Expect?
When someone dies, you are likely to go through the stages of grief. Although a specific order is usually implied when discussing stages, people can experience grief in different ways. Not only may you go through the stages in a different order, but you may even skip a stage or go back and forth. What is important for you to know is that what you are experiencing is a natural occurrence. These are the five stages of grief:
- Denial: You won’t want to believe that your beloved has died. Your denial may be so strong that you don’t believe it once it has been verified. Denial is often associated with emotional numbness. This is your brain’s way of helping you to deal with the shock of their passing.
- Anger: You are likely to become angry that they have died. You may blame a family member or even yourself for their death. Being angry is a way of coping with the pain of your loss.
- Bargaining: This could be called the what-if stage. What if they had taken better care of themselves? What if they had taken another route to work? You may even try to bargain with a higher power for their safe return.
- Depression: At some point, you are going to become saddened that your loved one has died. This is when the reality of their death sets in. You were close to them and now there is a void in your life. A clinical level of depression during this stage is often to be expected after the death of someone you loved.
- Acceptance: Acceptance is the last stage of grief. It is a sign that you have accepted the passing of your loved one and are ready to go on. Acceptance does not mean that everything is great and you are all better, but it does mean that you have dealt with it enough to acknowledge that your life needs to move forward without them.
Signs and Symptoms Of Complicated Grief
Having difficulty with death is a normal part of life. However, some people have more difficulty than others moving past the loss of a loved one. These people may undergo what is termed complicated grief. In short, complicated grief occurs when you get stuck in the stages of grief and never reach acceptance. You experience severe symptoms that seem unrelenting. Although there is no “normal” mourning period, if a year has passed since the death of your loved one and you are experiencing the following indicators, it may be a signal of complicated grief.
- Extreme sadness over the loss of your loved one
- Intense focus on the death of the loved one
- Persistent longing for the deceased
- Unable to accept death
- Emotional numbness
- Feeling that life no longer has meaning
- No longer finding joy in life or remembering positive experiences
What Can I Do To Cope With Grief?
- Don’t Avoid it: Part of reaching acceptance is acknowledging the situation and the pain it causes. Although you don’t want to ruminate about your loss, you do want to face it. Many people’s first reaction is to go numb. After the shock subsides, however, it is important to get in touch with your feelings. Go to the funeral. Look through that photo album. Share remembrances with others. Avoiding their memory will only delay the healing process.
- Seek Support: Although you might feel like locking yourself away in your bedroom, take the time to be with other people. One of the main roles of friends and family is to be there and show they love you. You don’t have to put on a brave face for them. If necessary, you can look elsewhere for support. Religious leaders and fellow congregants are usually good sources of aid. Further, numerous support groups focus on helping people cope with grief. Sometimes it is nice to be surrounded by people who know exactly what you are going through.
- Mark Anniversaries: Once you get through the initial stages of grief, there will undoubtedly be times that remind you of the person you lost. It is common to feel sad around birthdays, holidays, and other activities you used to do with that person. Instead of acting like they never existed, take the opportunity to mark their absence. For example, head to the cemetery over the holidays or reminisce with common friends on their birthday. Eventually, the thought of them will bring happy memories rather than sorrow.
- Don’t Let Grief Win: If your grief seems insurmountable, you can seek out a mental health professional. There are therapists at Thriveworks Round Rock that can provide you with the counseling you need. If you feel like you are not coping well with your loss, please call us at 512-212-7045 or schedule an appointment online.