When you lose someone close to you, dealing with your grief and mental health can be challenging. While grief is a normal process that virtually everyone has to deal with at some point in life, complicated grief disorder can cause more severe mental health issues.
Do I Have Complicated Grief Disorder?
There is no set timeline when dealing with grief and loss, unfortunately. One individual’s healing can look quite different than another’s. Since complicated grief disorder is not a widely recognized grief mental illness, it may go undiagnosed for some time before help is available.
You may suffer from complicated grief disorder if:
- You were witness to the death of a loved one or suffered alongside them, such as a car accident or supporting them through a traumatic cancer journey.
- You were extremely dependent on the individual who died.
- It was a premature, shocking, or unexpected death.
- There have been multiple deaths in a short amount of time.
- You have a medical history of anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.
Complicated Grief Signs and Symptoms
If you are unsure how well you are dealing with the death of someone close to you, some signs and symptoms can indicate complicated grief disorder.
Some evidence of complicated grief disorder may include:
- Feeling stuck in the grieving process, unable to move past it
- Overcome with sadness, depression, or anxiety for more than 12 months after the event
- Unable to resume regular life activities or contribute to your life as in the past
- Sleeping issues, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Diet changes
- Lack of attention to personal grooming or making healthy life choices
- Talk of suicide or attempts
- Increase in substance abuse
- Having a strong attachment to memorabilia of the person or alternatively avoiding any of the items that remind you of the individual you lost
- Anxiety, depression, extreme sadness
- Reckless behavior
- Denying your grief
Overcoming anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief is a challenging process for anyone. If you have any symptoms of complicated grief disorder, you should seek the help of a professional. They can guide you to healing with the proper tools for grief and mental health issues.
Not every healing method will work for all individuals. Thankfully, there are several ways to help move through grief and mental health issues. These methods can include individual or group therapy and family therapy. In addition, talking to someone is an effective way to work past your grief.
In some situations, individuals may require medication and holistic treatment plans and use dual diagnosis for those suffering from substance abuse and complicated grief disorder. If untreated, pre-existing conditions, such as depression or substance abuse, can significantly worsen.
You do not have to deal with traumatic life circumstances alone. Many professionals have the proper training and knowledge that can help guide you through the healing process. The sooner you seek help, the better it will be for your mental health.
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