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Navigating Grief: Understanding What's Normal and What's Complicated

Grief is one of life's most universal experiences. Whether you experience the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a significant life change, the process of grieving can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. Grief is a complex and sometimes painful emotion that leaves people wondering what to expect and if the intensity of their emotions is something normal or something more complicated. In this blog, we will explore what is considered normal in the grieving process, the symptoms of complicated grief, and how to find support.


What is normal grief?


The process of grieving is different for everyone, but some common symptoms tend to be prevalent. It is considered normal to experience a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, and guilt. Many people experience a sense of disbelief or denial surrounding the loss, which may make them want to keep an ongoing relationship with the deceased person. For some, the desire to cling to memories of the deceased person can bring comfort. However, eventually, you must come to terms with the loss and find a way to move forward.


Symptoms of Complicated Grief


While feelings of sadness and emptiness are common after a loss, it is important to recognize when grief has become complicated. Some signs include persistent feelings of shock, anger, or numbness. Complicated grief may also include feelings of prolonged yearning or longing for the deceased. Other symptoms can include trouble focusing, insomnia, loss of appetite, and difficulty functioning in everyday life due to the intensity of emotions.


Finding Support for Grief


If you are struggling with the loss of someone, you do not have to go through the grieving process alone. Speaking with a therapist or support group can bring much-needed relief and validation. It can also help to reach out to close friends and family members. While they may not be able to solve all of your problems, their support can help you feel less alone and provide a sounding board when you need to talk.


The Importance of Self-care


When you are in the midst of grief, it can be challenging to take care of yourself. However, there is no better time to practice self-care than when you are going through a hard time. Prioritize your mental and physical health by making time for activities you enjoy, eating healthy meals, exercising, and avoiding substance use to cope. Taking care of yourself helps combat the emotional and physical toll of grief, providing you with the energy and strength to get through your day.


Grief is a challenging, complicated emotion, but recognizing what is normal can help alleviate stress and confusion. However, if you find your emotions are too intense or it is becoming difficult to function normally, it is essential to reach out for support. It's okay to ask for help or take time to heal after a loss. Remember that taking care of yourself and prioritizing your emotional well-being is not only important but necessary to find peace in your life post-grief.


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