Bereavement is one of the most challenging experiences anyone can go through. The loss of a loved one affects people in different ways, and can trigger some incredibly powerful emotions. These may include anger, guilt, denial and overwhelming sadness that might affect your ability to go about your daily life.
It’s important to remember that all of these feelings are completely normal if you’ve lost a close friend, a family member or a partner. But at what point is it appropriate to seek help with your grief?
Bereavement counselling can be very useful for those who feel their emotions are getting the better of them at this difficult time. It provides time and space to talk through these feelings with a professional – someone who understands grief and can help you navigate the process.
Here are some of the key signs that you might benefit from bereavement counselling:
Your grief prevents you from continuing with normal activities
It’s understandable that there will be a period of a few weeks where you are unable to sleep, eat, socialise or work the way you did before, in the aftermath of the death of a loved one. But if this continues for months after your bereavement, it may be wise to seek out someone who can help you work through this feeling and resume your normal life.
You are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else
The death of someone close naturally causes many to consider their own mortality – but if you find yourself thinking about your own death often, or even thinking about hurting yourself in any way, you should speak with a professional.
Your behaviour has changed
Perhaps you have started to drink more than you used to. Maybe you’re tempted to take illegal drugs, or beginning to behave violently with those around you. If you (or someone who cares for you) has noticed any stark changes in your behaviour, consider contacting a counsellor.
You are experiencing uncontrollable feelings of rage, confusion and even physical pain
It’s not unusual for your grief to manifest as physical pain. You may also feel uncontrollably angry about your loss, and even confused about where your life will lead now. You might find it hard to make even the simplest decisions on a day-to-day basis. If these things are impacting your life as you work through the grieving process, a specialist bereavement counsellor may be able to help you process it in a more healthy way.
Bereavement is one of the most difficult things to manage, but a specialist counsellor can help you deal with your overwhelming feelings. It’s always worth seeing a professional if you feel like you can’t cope.