" Please Excuse My Frankness But I feel I must Address this Issue in Grief Recovery"
First off I want to say for the record a few things about myself. Over the years I have lost many close family members my wife and close friends.. This does not make me a professional or a expert in anything.. What it does is... make me more Compassionate and Empathetic to others. I can directly relate to anothers intense pain, misery, heartache,the wanting to just die yourself after losing someone so dear and close to your heart.
But I must speak out as I have found so many here continuing to suffer needlessly... because they have fallen into a Complex or Complicated Grief Pattern.... I have read so many heart breaking stories here on the forums.. Grief is a nasty unwelcome guest... that settles into your life and will stay for the duration if you let it.. It's normal to experience grief after any significant loss. Most people who experience normal or uncomplicated grief can move forward eventually with support from family and friends or even a forum such as this..
But there are so many heart wrenching stories of people here on the forum who are "STUCK" and have fallen into familiarity with their pain, misery and anguish.. This unfortunately is called Complex or Complicated Grief... It hurts my heart to see someone in so much anguish and feeling powerless to help themselves.. I'm sorry but feel compelled to speak out on this here.. Those of you who are feeling or seeing these key indicators in your life right now.. Please go and get help...
Here is some information that will help you decide if you are suffering from complex or complicated grief.. I'm sorry if this seems redundant or repetitive but I feel that strongly about this I think this information warrants being posted again. It's not your fault but you need to do something to help yourself... Realizing that you have a problem and you need to get help is the first step.. I wish that you will find an end to your suffering... but I cannot read your posts and not feel obligated to offer you information to help yourself.
Cal821 ( Dave )
Complicated or Complex Grief:
During the first few months after a loss, many signs and symptoms of normal grief are the same as those of complicated grief. However, while normal grief symptoms gradually start to fade over a few months, those of complicated grief linger or get worse. Complicated grief is like being in a chronic, heightened state of mourning.
Signs and symptoms of complicated grief can include:
Extreme focus on the loss and reminders of the loved one
Intense longing or pining for the deceased
Problems accepting the death
Numbness or detachment
Preoccupation with your sorrow
Bitterness about your loss
Inability to enjoy life
Depression or deep sadness
Trouble carrying out normal routines
Withdrawing from social activities
Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose
Irritability or agitation
Lack of trust in others
When to see a doctor
It's normal to experience grief after a significant loss. Most people who experience normal or uncomplicated grief can move forward eventually with support from family and friends. But if it's been several months or more since your loss and your emotions remain so intense or debilitating that you have trouble going about your normal routine, talk to your health care provider.
Specifically, you may benefit from professional help if you:
Can focus on little else but your loved one's death
Have persistent pining or longing for the deceased person
Have thoughts of guilt or self-blame
Believe that you did something wrong or could have prevented the death
Feel as if life isn't worth living
Have lost your sense of purpose in life
Wish you had died along with your loved one
At times, people with complicated grief may consider suicide. If you're thinking about suicide, talk to someone you trust. If you think you may act on suicidal feelings, call 911 or your local emergency services number right away.
It's not known what causes complicated grief. As with many mental health disorders, it may involve an interaction between inherited traits, your environment, your body's natural chemical makeup and your personality.
Researchers used to believe that all people moved through five specific stages of grief, in order. Today it's accepted that different people follow different paths through these experiences of grieving:
Accepting the reality of your loss
Allowing yourself to experience the pain of your loss
Adjusting to a new reality in which the deceased is no longer present
Having other relationships
You may accomplish these in a different order or on a different timeline than another person grieving a similar loss. These differences are normal. But if you're unable to move through one or more of these stages after a considerable amount of time, you may have complicated grief.
Complicated grief can affect you physically, mentally and socially. Without appropriate treatment, these complications can include:
Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Increased risk of physical illness, including heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure
Long-term difficulty with daily living
Post-traumatic stress disorder
While it's not known specifically what causes complicated grief, researchers continue to learn more about the factors that may increase the risk of developing it. These risk factors may include:
An unexpected or violent death
Suicide of a loved one
Lack of a support system or friendships
Traumatic childhood experiences, such as abuse or neglect
Childhood separation anxiety
Close or dependent relationship to the deceased person
Being unprepared for the death
Lack of resilience or adaptability to life changes
Although it's important to get professional treatment for complicated grief, you can take steps on your own to cope, including:
Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed and attend therapy appointments as scheduled.
Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve depression, stress and anxiety and can redirect your mind to the activity at hand.
Take care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and take time to relax. Don't turn to alcohol or illegal drugs for relief.
Reach out to your faith community. If you follow religious practices or traditions, you may gain comfort from rituals or guidance from a spiritual leader.
Practice stress management. Learn how to better manage stress. Unmanaged stress can lead to depression, overeating, or other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
Socialize. Stay connected with people you enjoy being around. They can offer support, a shoulder to cry on or a joke to give you a little boost.
Plan ahead for special dates or anniversaries. Holidays, anniversaries and special occasions can trigger painful reminders of your loved one. Find new ways to celebrate or acknowledge your loved one that provide you comfort and hope.
Learn new skills. If you were highly dependent on your loved one, perhaps to handle the cooking or finances, for example, try to master these tasks yourself. Ask family, friends or professionals for guidance, if necessary. Seek out community classes and resources, too.
Join a support group. You may not be ready to join a support group immediately after your loss, but over time you may find shared experiences comforting and you may form meaningful new relationships
I wish you peace and I truly hope this sinks in with you who are suffering needlessly because you are comfortable in your misery, pain and heart ache...
In this Life..... tragedy does not define you...—how you choose to live your life does. Please Get help for yourself...
Cal821( Dave )
Just finished reading your post and a partly agree with what you said. I have been seeing a therapist since march 2102, 2 months after Jim died. She recently diagnosed me with complicated grief. I do not and will not take medication for this and cope in my own way. I believe that there is no timeline for this journey and all the stages of grief and not seperate from one another. I go through the stages sometimes alone and sometimes together. I have learned to do things that feel right for me. I fet up everyday and do what I need to do, whether it is going shopping, paying bills visiting my granddaughter or going to work. I laugh at work and smile when I am with my grandaughter. I go out once in a while for dinner with friends and talk about life which includes discussion and memories of mmy husband. I talk to Jim all the time whether it is in bed at night, across the kitchen table, or in the car. I let him know what is happening in my life and ask him for help to get me through the day. At the same time most nights I have a meltdown where I cry, sometimes yell and scream and have this feeling like I want to punch the wall or throw aomething. (I don't do this because I would probably break my hand and would have to clean up the mess). I ask Jim on a daily basis to come home that the joke is over and that I need him to go on. But I get up the next morning and go on. I am still angry with God and I tell him so on a daily basis.
Everyone copes differently and my therapist and Rabbi say it is ok to feel like I do.
Thank you for all your posts, they really stop and make me think. Sometimes about things I don't want to face.
That is good and important information Dave.
And Sheryl, good reply.
All our lives the experts attempt to put us into a few categories or types. One that comes to mind is introvert and extrovert. What? There's only 2 types of people and I have to be one of those? Supposedly by the definition of those types I am an introvert and when I learned about these terms a century ago in grade school it was implied that an introvert is bad, strange, weird. And an extrovert is what everyone should strive to be, that they are better. Obviously as I grew older and my brain developed completely, somewhere around 30 :p , I learned those types as defined by so called experts dont mean alot.
My point is that there as as many types as there are people. I cannot be classified as a specific cookie cutter type and neither can you. Each of us experiences grief differently and will heal at rates that are natural for us. Of course getting help and guidance can be helpful and even necessary to lead us through the maze and get over the bumps we cannot overcome alone.
I am one who also encourages seeking professional help for anyone who has found themselves in this mudhole of a thing called grief.
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