Grief and Loss
What is Grief and Loss?
Grief is the natural reaction to loss, and can influence the physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioural and spiritual aspects of our lives. Grief can be experienced in response to a variety of loss-related events, such as the death of a loved one, separation or divorce, the loss of a sense of safety or predictability, physical incapacity through disability, or the loss of one’s home or community due to disaster.
People respond to loss in a variety of ways. Whilst some might find it helpful to talk openly about the experience, others might prefer time alone. The intensity and duration of the grieving process also differs between individuals. For most people, the experience of grief will dominate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours for a number of weeks or months. As time passes, most individuals learn to cope with their grief and go about their daily lives, although for many the loss will remain a part of them.
Grief and Loss Symptoms
Grief is an individual experience and, as a result, a variety of emotions, thoughts, sensations, and behaviours can be associated with the grief experience, including Emotional, Sadness, Anger, Guilt and remorse, Anxiety, Loneliness, Helplessness, Shock and disbelief, A sense of yearning, Cognitive, Confusion, Difficulty concentrating, Preoccupation with the loss, A loss of interest in pleasurable activities, Vivid dreams or nightmares, Physical and behavioural, Muscle tightness, Fatigue/reduction in energy, Sleep disturbances, Social withdrawal, Changes in appetite, Crying, Restlessness, Avoiding places or people who remind the individual of the loss and Treasuring objects that are associated with the loss. In addition to these, there can be significant changes in spiritual or philosophical views and beliefs.
Grief and Loss Causes
Grief and grieving are the natural response to a major loss, such as the death of a loved one. Loss can cause feelings of grief, sometimes when you least expect it.
Treatment for Grief and Loss
Grief and loss can be treated a number of ways and while many people will learn to adjust to the loss on their own, some individuals may require assistance. can be treated using a number of methods however to determine which treatment is best suited, Kathryn will ask questions about the individual’s history, circumstances, thoughts, feelings and behaviours to gain an understanding of factors that might be contributing to the person’s difficulties and work out a treatment best suited to the client.
Further Reading & Support
Australian Psychological Society
Australia’s largest professional association for psychologists
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
Australia’s largest provider of grief and bereavement clinical services and education
Provides information on anxiety, depression, and related disorders
Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing assistance for individuals aged 12-25
A 24-hour counselling, suicide prevention and mental health support service
Telephone: 13 11 14