Enhance Health Group

Grief and Loss Counseling
in Orange County

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grief grief and loss

Grief and loss can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. Life is going to happen, and sometimes you won’t even see it coming. There are resources available for those that are experiencing or have experienced grief and loss. Enhance Health Group is here to help you and your family.

What is Grief?

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. When you lose someone or something you love, you suffer emotionally. When you lose someone or something you love, you suffer emotionally. From shock and anger to disbelief, guilt, and deep sadness, you may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions. As a result of grief and loss, you may have difficulty sleeping, eating, or even thinking clearly. It’s normal to react negatively to loss – and your grief will be more intense the more significant the loss.

Types of Grief

One of life’s biggest challenges is coping with the loss of someone or something you love. Death is often associated with grief, which is often the most intense form, but grief can result from any loss, including:

  • Divorce or breakup of a relationship
  • Symptoms of health loss
  • The loss of a job
  • Instability in the financial sector
  • Having a miscarriage
  • The retirement process
  • Loss of a beloved pet
  • An unfulfilled dream
  • Illness of someone close to you
  • The end of a friendship
  • After a trauma, a person loses their sense of safety
  • Putting the family house up for sale

The loss of a loved one can trigger grief even when it is subtle. Leaving home, graduating from college, or changing jobs are just a few examples of reasons to grieve.

Do not feel ashamed about how you feel, or think that there are only certain things for which you should grieve. Your loss is a part of you, so don’t feel ashamed about it. It’s normal to grieve a loss related to someone, an animal, a relationship, or a situation that meant a significant amount to you. Even if your grief has its origin in a physical or emotional loss, you can come to terms with it over time and find new meaning in your life.

what is grief

Stages of Grief

Psychotherapist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed the “five stages of grief” in 1969 based on her studies of patients facing terminal illness, but they have been applied to other negative life changes and losses, such as bereavement and divorce.

The Five Stages of Grief

  1. Denial: “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
  2. Angry: “Why is this happening to me?” “Who is responsible for this?”
  3. Bargaining: “Make sure that this does not happen, and in return, I will -.”
  4. Depression: “I can’t do anything because I’m too sad.”
  5. Acceptance: “I am at peace with what has happened.”

It may be comforting to know that when you are experiencing any of these feelings following a loss, you are experiencing a natural reaction. It is important to note, however, that not everyone grieves through these stages. Despite popular belief, you do not need to go through all stages of healing. Despite any of these stages, some people manage to cope with grief without them. In the event that you do go through these stages of grief, you will probably not experience them in a linear pattern, so don’t be concerned about how you “should” feel or at which stage you should be.

Symptoms of Grief and Loss

We are prone to experiencing these symptoms when grieving, even if grief affects us differently. In the early stages of grief, it is normal to feel like you’re going crazy, your world is falling apart, or you’re in a nightmare.

sadness

Emotional Symptoms

There are lots of emotional symptoms that can affect anyone that’s experiencing grief and loss. Grief affects everyone differently, but the root feelings remain similar.

Shock and Disbelief

Losses are difficult to accept right after they happen. Loss can make you feel numb, make it hard for you to believe that it really happened, and even make you deny it happened. Even though you know they’re gone, you may expect a pet or someone you love to show up, even if they have passed away.

Sadness

Most people experience profound sadness when they grieve. Emptiness, despair, loneliness, and yearning may dominate your emotions. Maybe you’re crying a lot or feeling unstable emotionally.

Guilt

It’s possible to regret saying or doing something or to feel guilty about it. There may also be feelings of guilt (such as feeling relieved when a person dies after a long, difficult illness). Despite the fact that you had no control over the outcome, you may feel guilty for failing to do more to prevent your loss.

Fear

It is not uncommon to worry and fear after a significant loss. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure if you lose a partner, your job, or your home, for example. Panic attacks are also possible. It is possible to feel fear about your own mortality, about life without that person, or about the responsibilities you now face alone after the death of a loved one.

Anger

It is possible to feel angry and resentful, even when the loss was not your fault. The person who died may have abandoned you for any number of reasons, including abandonment by themselves, God, the doctors, and even the person who died. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly, you may feel the need to blame someone.

Physical Symptoms of Grief

Grief is often thought of as a purely emotionally experience, but grief often involves physical problems, such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Immunity weakened
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Pains and aches
  • Sleep disorders

These physical symptoms and problems can take a toll on someone who is experiencing grief and loss. It can be detrimental to the healing process.

grief support

Seeking Support For Grief and Loss

You may feel the need to withdraw from others during times of grief. It is vital that you have face-to-face support when you are grieving. It’s important to express your feelings while grieving even if you don’t feel comfortable with doing so in normal circumstances. Although sharing your loss can make the burden of grief easier to bear, that does not mean you need to talk about it every time you talk to friends and family. You can find comfort even as you are around loved ones. It’s important to avoid becoming isolated. Speak to your family and friends. Even if you pride yourself on being strong and independent, it’s time to confide in those who care about you. Spend time with friends and family and accept the help they can offer, instead of avoiding them. There are often people who want to help, but don’t know how – to tell them what you need, whether you need an ear to listen to you or a shoulder to cry on. Taking the time to form new friendships is never too late if you don’t feel you have anyone to regularly connect with in person. Trying to comfort someone who is grieving can be awkward for many people. People can experience grief in a confusing and sometimes frightening way, especially if they haven’t suffered a similar loss themselves. You may end up saying or doing the wrong things when they feel unsure how to comfort you. However, this excuse shouldn’t be used as an excuse to retreat into your shell. People who reach out to you do so because they care. Faith can comfort you. Embrace the comfort that mourning rituals can provide if you are a member of a religious tradition. You can find solace in meaningful spiritual activities, like praying, meditating, or attending church. You can speak with a clergy member or other members of your religious community if you’re questioning your faith after the loss. Become a member of a support group. Losing a loved one can be extremely lonely, even when you have family and friends around. It can be comforting to talk to someone who has suffered a similar loss. Contact a local hospital, hospice, funeral home, or counseling center to locate a bereavement support group. Consult a grief counselor or therapist. Get counseling from a mental health professional who has experience with grief if your grief feels overwhelming. Taking the right steps to grieve effectively can be challenging without the help of an experienced therapist.
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Get Help Today

If you are experiencing the symptoms of grief and loss, or have recently lost someone or something. Enhance Health Group is here to help you. Contact us today to speak with our trained professionals to see how our program can benefit you, and get you the help you need.