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Grief & Adults

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Anxiety

This is a state of increased fear or anxiety. In some people the fear is extreme and unrealistic, and can interfere with their ability to perform daily tasks. Symptoms include:

  • Shaking
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability.

If these feelings persist for an extended period you may benefit from treatment.

More Anxiety Information

Depression

There is a sense of despair that colors your world. Many people feel like they have no energy and cannot concentrate. Others feel irritable all the time, with angry outbursts. When these feelings last over 2 weeks and they interfere with your daily life, you may be clinically depressed.

People who have had an episode of depression in the past are likely to experience depression again. Most people feel better after they are treated.

More Depression Information

Do You Need Professional Help?

Generally anyone who has been involved with an event that causes a casualty or serious injury will have a time of difficulty. In some, however, the level of difficulty is such that their day-to-day living is nearly impossible.

Warning signs of a more serious problem include

  • you are unable to resume a functional life,
  • your relationships with other people are greatly suffering or even dropped,
  • you have self-destructive thoughts, and/or
  • you cannot think about the event or accept your changed life.

If these warning signs are present you should look for a psychologist or psychiatrist who has experience helping people following a trauma. You may benefit from counseling and medication. Your family physician or sometimes your health insurance call center can help.

How to Find Good Professional Help

  • Look for an experienced therapist who has been in practice for a number of years treating trauma victims.
  • A therapist with a PhD may be more aware of current treatment practices and options.
  • Ask about treatment practices and experience.
  • Be honest. There is probably nothing you can say that these people have not heard before. Only an open, honest dialogue will help you doctor formulate a treatment plan that is right for you. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with the doctor or psychologist - FIND A NEW ONE!

Books

  • Lafser, Christine O'Keefe. An Empty Cradle A Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death. (ISBN 0-8294-1173-9) Chicago: Loyola Press, 1998.

    Short thoughts paired with biblical quotes. I found it helped me find words for some of my initial emotions.

  • Lafser, Christine O'Keefe. Longing for My Child: Reflections for Parents and Siblings After a Child's Death. (ISBN 0-8294-1754-0) Chicago: Loyola Press, 2002.

    Similar to "Empty Cradle" but with more focus on later grief. The word longing is a good description of many of the writings. I found that it helped open an avenue of discussion with my husband - when I wondered if he was feeling some of the same feelings.