Have you ever noticed someone who looks sad all the time? You can see it on their face, you can see it in how they respond to others, and you can just tell when a person has been living in grief for a long time. Prolonged grief can have negative...
Have you ever noticed someone who looks sad all the time? You can see it on their face, you can see it in how they respond to others, and you can just tell when a person has been living in grief for a long time.
Prolonged grief can have negative effects in every area of your life.
That’s what I’m going to talk about in this episode of the Mental Health Today Show, Consequences of Unresolved Grief.
The Mental Health Today Show is all about encouraging and inspiring you to work on your mental health. If you desire to work on your mental health you are a champion, and I’m glad you are a part of this community.
Working on your mental health is hard work, and you have to work at it every single day - so you are a champion of your mental health. That’s why I like to call you champions.
Today I’m talking about a very difficult topic, but one that needs to be talked about - the Consequences of Unresolved Grief.
Grief comes from all sorts of places, the death of a loved one, an accident that leaves you paralyzed, a broken relationship, a job loss, or an unfulfilled dream.
No matter what your loss is, it hurts, it’s lonely, and at times it’s terrifying.
The five stages of grief are:
Stage 1: Denial
In this first stage, you refuse to believe the loss is real. It’s like a bad dream, or a false report, that something bad has happened. After all, tragedy can’t happen to you or your loved one.
They’re too young, you just started your job, you just got married, you just saw them yesterday. It didn’t really happen, someone must be mistaken.
Denial happens when the reality of the situation has not been fully processed yet. When your mind and your heart are not in alignment.
Stage 2: Anger
Anger is an outward reaction of a deeper emotion not fully expressed. Anger from grief comes in many forms, and it can be a type of self-protection. You can become angry at the person you lost, you can be angry at God, you can become angry at others, but many times you are angry at yourself. Sometimes blaming yourself for the loss.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Bargaining happens when you convince yourself that you could have done something to prevent the loss. If only, if I would have, I should have, become a resounding message in your thoughts.
As if you could have somehow prevented the loss.
If only I would have kept my daughter home she would be alive today.
If I would have been more convincing I could have prevented my son from running away from home and becoming addicted to Meth.
I should have answered the phone so I could have talked my friend out of doing something terrible.
It should have been me, instead of my husband.
These bargaining thoughts that cycle in your mind eventually can lead to depression.
Stage 4: Depression
Depression is a loss of hope, and negative thoughts that nothing will ever help you feel better to become predominant. You become convinced that life is over, and every day is bleak. You lose interest in almost everything, you withdraw from those you love, and you start to hate your life.
Eventually, you will start to feel better and you’ll transition into the final stage of acceptance.
Stage 5: Acceptance
Acceptance is coming to terms with your loss and acknowledging and believing you’ll be okay.
Many people think if you reach this stage you will forget about your loved one. But, that’s not the case at all. In fact, you’ll remember the good times you had and live in a memorial to that person.
Your loved one would not want you stuck in any of the first 4 stages of grief. They would want you to move on with your life and be happy. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting, it means you are stronger because of the loss of your loved one.
Unresolved Grief comes from being stuck in the first four stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, or Depression.
Consequences of Unresolved Grief can be:
Becoming an angry and bitter person.
A loss of trust in just about everybody.
Addiction to unhealthy habits.
The physical toll on your body.
Not sleeping well.
Not eating well.
Look older than you really are.
Loss of your smile.
Becoming a pessimistic person.
Keep others at a distance.
Your next steps:
Go to therapy.
Talk about your loved one to others. Tell your story by telling their story.
Make a memorial.
Write about your grief - book or article.
Find something that indicates to yourself that you are moving forward.
I hope you found this episode helpful. My mission is to champion your mental health.
Life is hard, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Be sure to visit the website at MentalHealthTodayShow.com
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John Cordray johncordray.com