Coping With Your Own Grief
Fortunately, there are many constructive and healthy ways to deal with grief. These can include:
- Journaling – Many people find comfort in writing out their thoughts and feelings during the grieving period. Some even decide to write letters to the deceased or lost person. This can be a very good way to express feelings that people may not feel comfortable sharing with others and to avoid bottling up of emotions, which can extend the grief process or lead to other physical/emotional problems.
- Talking with an Intimate – Others find that talking with a close family member or friend is beneficial and allows them to share memories about the lost relationship or emotions that they are feeling.
- Getting Professional Help – Some people decide that they are not comfortable sharing their feelings with close friends and family. Alternatively, they may feel that they do not wish to burden those around them who are also suffering. In these cases, many choose to speak with a professional grief therapist.In a typical psychotherapy intervention, the therapist will both encourage the person to share feelings and thoughts about the loss and will encourage and challenge them to do things (such as to be a part of social activities, to exercise, etc.) that will help themselves to reengage life and get better. It can be an empowering process to speak with someone that understands the grief process and can help to normalize the emotions or reactions that are being felt.
- Medication - Grief therapists and other doctors that might be consulted during times of grief may suggest that a prescription for anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications would be helpful. When taken as directed by a doctor, such medicines can be extremely helpful for managing extreme grief symptoms (such as unremitting sadness, anxiety, or confusion, etc.). Since grief is not an illness so much as it is a life process, it is unwise to rely purely on medicines as a way to manage grief related pain. Properly used medicines can take the edge off the worst grief symptoms. They cannot speed the process of recovery and regrowth that must inevitably occur for grief to resolve.
- Support Groups – For those that don't want to speak to an intimate friend or family member or a counselor one-on-one, a community-based or internet-based support group is an option. Many people find it comforting to speak with others who are experiencing similar types of loss and who are at different stages of the grieving process. As is the case with individual therapy, support group support can help to normalize what grieving people are feeling.