In this article:

What is grief?

After the loss of a friend, partner, pet, or family member, you may suffer from grief. Grief is an umbrella term for a series of emotions experienced after a loss that can include:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Emptiness
  • Confusion
  • Panic

There is no right or wrong way to feel grief, as everyone feels it differently.

Is grief a mental health issue?

Grief is not a diagnosable mental health issue. However, if you are suffering from grief for extended periods of time, or if it is causing a negative impact in your life, you should contact your GP or a mental health service.

Some of the organisations that can offer support include:

  • Mind – A charity that helps empower those struggling with mental health.
  • Marie Curie – Supporting people and their families through terminal illness.
  • Cruse – A charity focused on helping people suffering from bereavement & grief.
  • Child Bereavement UK – Helping children who are grieving and families who have lost a child.

What are the stages of grief?

Some people experience grief in a ‘cycle’. How we experience grief changes on a wide array of factors including culture, religious practices, and societal pressure.

The traditional cycle of grief is:

  • Denial – You may experience shock and may not be able to process the situation.
  • Anger – Lashing out at others and yourself.
  • Depression – Feelings of confusion, sadness, and isolation are common.
  • Bargaining – In this stage, it is common to reflect on the past and wish that you could have done things differently.
  • Acceptance – In this stage, you have acknowledged and accepted the situation. You may now be ready to move forward.

What are the effects of grief?

Does grief make you tired?

Feeling heightened emotions from grief can make you feel more tired than usual. You may also find that your sleep schedule changes, or you may suffer from insomnia.

Can grief make you sick?

While grief doesn’t directly cause health issues, you may feel unwell if you are sleeping or eating differently. If you’re feeling unwell whilst suffering from grief, please contact your GP or call 111.

What is the difference between grief and depression?

Grief can feel very similar to depression as they both share many symptoms, including overwhelming sadness, insomnia, and decreased appetite. However, depression may not have a direct cause, and can also be treated through medication or treatments prescribed by your GP. If you believe that you are suffering from depression, or your symptoms are feeling worse due to grief, please consult your GP.

How long does grief last?

The duration of grief varies from person to person. Some people may process the grief quickly and begin to feel more like themselves , whilst others will struggle for longer. Grief may also be experienced in waves; the feelings of sadness may alleviate one day but return the next.

Here to help

Whilst suffering from grief, it can be hard to find the right funeral director to help you make arrangements for your lost loved one. You can use our free search tool to find funeral directors in your area. Visit our search tool here.