Impact of Grief on Mental Health
The impact of grief on mental health is so important to look at. In fact, grief is at the center of experiencing mental illness. Grief makes you feel sad, alone, depressed. Those days when you can barely get out of bed or you just feel like crying at everything. Grief can be overwhelming. Managing grief takes effort and support. Without that support grief can develop into a mental health crisis.
Grief and loss
Humans experience loss in a variety of ways. Death of a loved one is often the most acknowledged loss and it is a big one. Any type of loss big or small can result in grief. The impact of grief on mental health goes beyond simply the moment someone dies. The trauma associated with watching someone as they slowly lose their health or an accidental unexpected death. All are traumatic and have many other small losses along the way. The trauma experiences can impact mental health in big ways.
Normal grief vs Complicated Grief
Two types of grief that are talked about are “normal” grief and “complicated grief”. Normal grief is when there is a loss of some sort and the person experiences a period of bereavement. They go through the typical “stages of grief “ and eventually come to acceptance and can continue to carry on with life. Normal grief can come and go and change over time. Grief is different for everyone.
You just can’t stop crying or thinking about your loss. Jobs around the house and at work go undone because you are so consumed with grief. Complicated grief is like an ongoing period of mourning. Your loss consumes your mind and you may continue to be in a state of denial. You aren’t able to keep your life moving forward.
The impact of grief on mental health can really be felt with those who experience complicated grief.
Letting grief go without healing it can slowly morph into depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. It may start small or “normal” but over time if you refuse or simply struggle to process your grief it can really halt all chances of healing.
Grief is central to the experience of mental illness-even though it is not spoken about as much.
If you are struggling with grief and feel stuck in denial about your loss it may be time to seek further help. You will never get over your loss. When you have a big loss like the death of a loved one it isn’t something you can get over and eventually have no feelings about.
You may always feel sad when you think of them. You may have waves of grief that wash over you at certain significant times during the year such as birthdays and holidays. It is possible though to find hope in the future even without your loved ones presence.