Grief is a part of life for every person in this world. At some point we will all lose a loved-one dear to us, leaving us with feelings of profound loss and bereavement that are difficult to prepare for, and even more difficult to overcome. But they can be overcome.
If you’re having trouble coping with the loss of a loved-one, grief counselling can help you to find ways to address and deal with the emotional pain, helping you to move forward with life in this new world without your loved-one in it.
Signs you may need some grief counselling
As we mentioned, everyone will go through grief in their lives, usually more than once, and although it is one of the most difficult things you will endure, many times you will be able find a way to make it through with the support of family and friends, without the need for independent counselling.
But how do you know when the grief has become too unbearable and you need some help to find your way through it?
Some cases of grief can be too difficult to make sense of alone. Perhaps you don’t have a good support system at home to help you through; perhaps you had a complicated relationship or a falling out with the deceased before they passed; or perhaps your mind has found the grief too much to deal with and has instead begun to mask or push down the symptoms (masked or delayed grief) or even exaggerate or prolong the symptoms (exaggerated or chronic grief).
Signs your grief has become too much to bear and you need some help through it include:
- Ongoing disrupted sleep patterns – either insomnia or wanting to sleep your days away
- Ongoing difficulty getting on with everyday life – inability to eat, go to work or take care of yourself
- Feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Thoughts of suicide
It’s very difficult to put a time limit on grief as everyone experiences it differently, but if you’re finding these symptoms ongoing and not subsiding or getting less painful more than six months after your initial loss, it could be time to seek help from a grief counsellor.
Grief unrelated to death
Grief is not just an emotion associated with losing a loved one to death. We can also experience grief for the loss of loved-ones who are still living, but who may have exited our lives in other ways. The total breakdown of a loving, friendly or familial relationship where communication is no longer an option can bring about feelings of grief for example.
Perhaps you’ve had to cut out an abusive partner or a drug-addicted family member for the health and safety of yourself or other family members. This can cause grief-related emotions to build up around the loss of that relationship, or even the loss of the person they used to be. These feelings of grief are no less real than death-related grief, and you may need some help from a counsellor to work through these complicated emotions and find a way to cope with the loss.
Grief counselling for Adolescents and Children
People of all ages will experience grief, but may do so in different ways. Our clinical psychologists are trained in recognising and treating the signs of grief in different age groups.
Recognising grief in yourself as an adult may be easier to do, allowing you to process the emotions and find the help you need should you require it. However, you may find that your children – be they young kids or adolescents – do not display the signs of grief you would expect. They may even express verbally that they are coping, but their conscious or subconscious behaviour may show signs to the contrary. These can include:
- Anger, acting-out or problems at school
- Wetting the bed
- Refusal to eat
- Guilt, self-blame or shame
Our specialised child and grief counsellors will be able to help children identify and address their feelings of loss, and help them to find ways to express and cope with these emotions.
Book an appointment
We treat patients from all over Perth at our Clinical Psychology clinic in Dianella. To make an appointment simply give us a call or fill out the contact form on our contact page with your details and we’ll call you to confirm.
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