Coping With Your Own Grief
There are some ways that folks can prefer to deal with grief and loss in their lives, some constructive and a few destructive. Among the more destructive coping methods are people's option to address alcohol or other drugs to dull their pain and/or provide a illusory means of shake the pressing demands of grieving. Heavy use of either drugs or alcohol may very well extend and prolong the grief period and cause other serious problems like drug abuse or dependence (otherwise referred to as addiction). Additionally, alcohol, and a number of other other drugs and medicines including the benzodiazapines (like Valium, Atavan, Xanax and Klonapin), and therefore the barbiturates have a depressant effect on the brain which will actually lead an individual towards serious depression when misused. Magnified feelings of hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts may occur in such circumstances when they otherwise would not. Mixing alcohol with these depressant drugs can be fatal. For these reasons, if alcohol and medicines are to be used in the least during a time of grief, their use should be limited, or they ought to be used as directed by a physician.
Fortunately, there are many constructive and healthy ways to affect grief. These can include:
Journaling – Many people find comfort in writing out their thoughts and feelings during the grieving period. Some even plan to write letters to the deceased or lost person. This can be a really great way to precise feelings that folks might not feel comfortable sharing with others and to avoid bottling from emotions, which may extend the grief process or cause other physical/emotional problems.
Talking with an Intimate – Others find that talking with a close family member or friend is beneficial and allows them to share memories about the lost relationship or emotions that they are feeling.
Getting Professional Help – Some people decide that they are not comfortable sharing their feelings with close friends and family. Alternatively, they may feel that they do not wish to burden those around them who are also suffering. In these cases, many prefer to speak with knowledgeable grief therapist.In a typical psychotherapy intervention, the therapist will both encourage the person to share feelings and thoughts about the loss and will encourage and challenge them to do things (such as to be a part of social activities, to exercise, etc.) that will help themselves to reengage life and get better. It are often an empowering process to talk with someone that understands the grief process and may help to normalize the emotions or reactions that are being felt.
Medication - Grief therapists and other doctors that might be consulted during times of grief may suggest that a prescription for anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications would be helpful. When taken as directed by a doctor, such medicines can be extremely helpful for managing extreme grief symptoms (such as unremitting sadness, anxiety, or confusion, etc.). Since grief isn't an illness such a lot because it may be a life process, it's unwise to rely purely on medicines as how to manage grief related pain. Properly used medicines can take the sting off the worst grief symptoms. They cannot speed the method of recovery and regrowth that has got to inevitably occur for grief to resolve.
Support Groups – For those that don't want to speak to an intimate friend or family member or a counselor one-on-one, a community-based or internet-based support group is an option. Many people find it comforting to talk with others who are experiencing similar sorts of loss and who are at different stages of the grieving process. As is that the case with individual therapy, support group support can help to normalize what grieving people are feeling.
Factors Influencing the Grief/Bereavement Process – Unexpected Death Vs. Expected Death
Different emotions are triggered once we know that death is imminent versus when it comes "out of the blue." Knowing before time that an individual is dying allows us to prepare, both by planning ways to attenuate the negative impact of the loss after it occurs, also as saying goodbye. An unexpected death are often much harder to affect than an expected one. Because survivors haven't said goodbye or resolved lingering relationship issues, feelings of guilt and anger can linger for several years and stop closure.
The perceived "fairness" of the loss is also important. Losses that challenge our view of the planet as a predictable and fair place are harder to manage. For example, it's easier to simply accept the loss of an aged parent who has lived a full life than it's to simply accept the loss of a young child. Death from a chronic disease tends to be easier to simply accept than death by a random, senseless accident or sudden medical crisis that comes out of the blue. Dealing with the suicide of a loved one typically brings about feelings of anger, as well as guilt and regret for not recognizing signs of depression, hopelessness, or other warning signs of suicidal behavior.
Symptoms of Grief
Though each person grieves in unique ways, there are common behavioral, emotional, and physical signs and symptoms that people who are grieving typically experience.
• Physically, persons affected by grief may experience:
Ø Fatigue and exhaustion alternating with periods of high alertness and energy
Ø Temporary hearing loss or vision impairment (possibly associated with dissociation)
Ø Difficulty sleeping
Ø Disturbed appetite (either more appetite or less appetite than normal)
Ø Muscle tremors
Ø Chills and/or sweating
Ø Difficulty breathing or rapid respiration
Ø Increased heart rate or blood pressure
Ø Stomach and/or intestinal problems
Ø Nausea and/or dizziness
• Mentally, persons affected by grief may experience:
Ø Confusion (memory, concentration, judgment and comprehension difficulties)
Ø Intrusion (unwanted thoughts, arousal, nightmares)
Ø Dissociation (feeling of detachment and unreality, disorientation, denial)
• Emotionally, persons affected by grief may experience:
Ø Fear, anxiety or apprehension
Ø Anger, irritability or agitation
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