21 Complicated or incomplete grief

With loss comes grief. Incomplete grief arises when  it is stalled or side tracked. Signs of incomplete grief include;

  • Irritability or anger.
  • Continued obsessing or musing over the deceased person.
  • Hyper alertness and fear of loss. One tends to feel more vulnerable, the world unsafe, world seems unsafe, hypersensitivity and alertness for worse things.
  • Behavioral overreaction.
  • Addictive or self harming behaviour. Turning to alcohol, drugs or workaholism.
  • Apathy, numbness or low grade depression.
  • Attempts to deny or get away from the pain or avoiding to let go.

Proper grieving leads to closure. One should move towards what they are avoiding.

One can also seek professional therapy to deal with grief.

When mourning does not occur or goes on for a long time without any progress it’s called complicated or unresolved grief.

Symptoms include;

  • Disbelief in the death of a loved one that is emotional numbness.
  • Unable to accept the death.
  • Feeling preoccupied with the loved one or how they died.
  • Wishing to die to be with the loved one.
  • Excessively avoiding reminders of the loss.
  • Continuous yearning and longing for the deceased.
  • Feeling alone, detached or distrustful.
  • Trouble pursuing interests
  • Life feels meaningless or empty.
  • Loss of identity or purpose in life.
  • Neglects personal hygiene.
  • Physical problems.
  • Talks about suicide.
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs.

Major depression or complicated grief needs professional help.

“Wacha niKwambie”

September 2018 – Life must go on

Coping with loss and grief – spiritual and emotional wellness

DISCLAIMER: The thoughts contained in this article are obtained from research. The writer is not a mental health specialist but is curious to learn on how to deal with personal loss and grief. The series “Life must go on” is a spiritual and emotional wellness journey in this month of September 2018 by the lead writer and a guest contributor to the blog. For professional help in coping with loss and grief please seek the help of an accredited and duly registered mental health specialist or counsellor.

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