Learn about the common physical reactions that you might experience following the loss of a loved one.
- With unexpected, unpredictable, quick, tragic, or traumatic change or loss there may be initial reactions that look like shock, such as overwhelm, confusion, disorientation, nausea, being dazed, feeling frozen, numbness, or even anger or rage. And when shock settles, sadness and tearfulness may follow. Now, anger, confusion, or numbness can also remain, and sometimes people describe their grief in much more physical terms. They may say that they experience headaches of stomachaches or muscle tension. Where there have been especially longstanding or close relationships and loss has occurred, it is possible that grief can continue for a long period of time. And sometimes that sadness shifts out of grief into something more, something significantly more. It can go beyond grief and shift into panic or fear or withdrawal. Or it could even shift into what psychologists call a clinical depression. And when that depression is bad enough or it's present, you might see someone experience difficulties with sleep or a loss of interest in everyday routines or hobbies or even connecting and socializing with others. You might also see an increase or decrease in appetite or a decrease in energy and kind of more fatigue. And you might also see someone or hear someone talk about ending one's own life. Certainly, if there have been those kinds of changes that others have noticed and those symptoms have become so much more extreme, including that constant worry or the fear or the panic or the changes in sleep and appetite and irritability and fatigue and the talk of hurting oneself, all of these are indicators that it's super important to have that individual seek professional help.
- Understanding difficult feelings
- Defining grief
- Dealing with loss and change
- Supporting grieving colleagues
- Returning to work