Grief counseling is a form of therapy that aims to help people cope with a significant loss, whatever it may be. Bereavement counseling, on the other hand, helps people deal with the loss of a loved one. Both of these programs are crucial for people who don’t have the capability to deal with loss on their own.
Many palliative care service centers in Indiana and other places offer grief and bereavement programs. To find out if you need to join such a program, here are some signs to look out for:
1. Reliance on unhealthy things to cope
Whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, prohibited substances, or sex, abusing unhealthy means to cope is a sign that you need help with your grief. It is common for grieving people to look for something that can ease their pain. But if you use dangerous vices to numb the negative emotions you are feeling, this can lead to something even worse, such as addiction.
After the loss of something or someone significant in your life, it is perfectly normal to experience feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, and everything else in between. You may even feel bouts of relief or happiness even while you’re grieving. However, some people experience feelings of emptiness, isolation, or despondency.
Feeling empty inside can be worse than feeling negative emotions. When you are numb to emotions, it may lead you to do bad things just to feel something again. Sometimes, it can even lead to depression.
If you don’t feel anything after a loss, whether it be positive or negative emotions, seek help from a grief or bereavement counselor as soon as possible.
3. Overwhelming guilt
Do you feel that you could have done more for the person you lost? Or that you weren’t a good enough parent, child, sibling, or friend to them? Feeling guilty is common for people who have just lost their loved ones. The guilt may even stretch over a few weeks. However, if the guilt fails to cease after some time and it’s continuing to eat you up inside, getting grief counseling is the best way to move on.
4. Thoughts of causing harm to yourself or others
As mentioned before, people deal with grief in their own different ways. However, thinking of hurting yourself or someone else is not okay and should never be ignored. Get professional help if these thoughts ever cross your mind, even for just a fleeting moment.
5. Failure to move on
The loss of someone you love can put your world into a standstill, but grief is temporary. It can take months or years, yes, but it shouldn’t take over your whole life for too long. Hence, if are unable to find closure and move on with your life, getting counseling may help.
Grieving over a loss is a significant part of what makes us human, and this process can take anywhere from a few days to a few years. But whatever the loss may be, it is important to realize when you can no longer deal with the grief on your own. If you experience one or more of these signs, seek help from professional counselors or therapists as soon as possible.