Grief is an emotional response that each person experiences differently. When most people think of grief, they think about it in the context of a loved one passing away. However, grief can also occur along with divorce or changes in a relationship, changes in health, loss of a job, or changes in a person’s financial security or way of life.
It can be difficult to realize when a person is grieving. We’ll show you how to recognize symptoms of grief and what you can do if you notice these symptoms.
Recognize the Symptoms of Grief
Grieving people experience a range of emotions and reactions which can be physical, behavioral, emotional or social:
- Physical reactions to grief can include a lack of energy, feeling weak, tearfulness or restlessness
- Behavioral reactions people may experience are forgetfulness or having moments of confusion
- Emotional reactions may be characterized by feelings of anger, depression or sadness
- A common social reaction is to withdraw from friends and avoid colleagues, causing a person to encounter relationship difficulties.
Other symptoms to look for are changes in how a person sleeps or eats, or feeling distracted easily and engaging in absent-minded behaviors. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Support a Grieving Person
There is no standard timeframe for how long it will take a person to heal from grief. Allow yourself or your loved one to feel the loss and embrace any emotions.
This can be done by writing letters, keeping a grief journal, talking about feelings, or having a safe space to let emotions out. Crying, screaming, laughing or any other types of healthy expression are all valid when dealing with grief.
Ask for help by reaching out to a support system, which could include family, friends, spiritual leaders and more. Choose to be around people who are supportive of you and will not place extra burdens on you. It’s also important to avoid making major decisions during times of grief.
Don’t forget to attend to your physical needs, such as maintaining a healthy routine and taking time to eat. Set a regular sleep schedule and move your body by getting up and walking around each day. Consult with your doctor about your loss and any symptoms, and avoid drinking alcohol or using substances.
Find Help If You’re Struggling
If you are feeling overwhelmed and are struggling to cope, reach out to a friend, family member or counselor. Catholic Charities’ Counseling Program provides quality, affordable, fee-based services through telehealth or in person, with a sliding scale based on your ability to pay.
We also accept Mercy Care, Molina Complete Care and Banner University AHCCCS plans. Please schedule an appointment today by calling 602-749-4405.
Attend a Catholic Charities Counseling Workshop
If you’d like to learn more about coping with grief, attend a free virtual workshop on grief and loss on Nov. 8, 2022 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.