Unresolved grief can be caused by a wide variety of life events. Although most people associate grief with death and are upset at not being able to say a final "I love you" or "good bye", there are over forty life experiences that can cause grief, many of which remain unresolved. Since the number of events is large, most people carry some element of unresolved grief. Although sorrow is a normal reaction, unresolved grief has a more traumatic impact due to the extra feelings surrounding it. As a result it can have a negative effect on one’s life. You may be asking yourself, "How do I know if I have unresolved grief?"
Signs of Unresolved Grief
Although many of sufferers try to pretend that they are “over it” for various reasons, the following are some of the tell-tale signs that someone is grieving:
- Preoccupation with sad or painful memories
- Refusal to talk about the loss at all
- Increase in alcohol, food, drug, or cigarette usage.Antisocial behavior
- Overindulge in hobbies, work, or excercise activities
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Isolation from friends and family
If left untreated, the long term effects can be devastating to future relationships and every day activities, such as work and what used to be enjoyable hobbies. Here are some things that can be done to help resolve the unsettled feelings.
Validate your feelings
You have a right to feel the way you do. Feelings are natural. Even though others may not understand your feelings or fail to empathize with you, it is the most important for you to empathize with yourself. Give yourself permission to process, naturally, the loss you have experienced.
No matter how small it may be, build a support network. Whether it is that one special friend who can listen without judgement, or an online group on social media. It's important for you to have someone to turn to if you need a shoulder to cry on or a new outlook in order to get you through a rough moment.
Unresolved grief can be caused by pretty much anything big or small. If something, someone, or an event was important to you, and a change in that relationship has affected your emotions negatively, there is a way by which you may recover. If you suspect that you or someone you love is experiencing unresolved grief, give the Grief Recovery Institute a call at 1-(800)334-7606 and receive the help that you deserve.
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