Grief counseling or grief treatment centers are a relatively new idea in our nation’s ongoing attempts to tackle the problems of poor or neglected mental health. However, grief and loss counseling is an age-old practice. The world has always battled with grief and loss, especially as it pertains to the loss of a loved one. Therefore, there has always been a need for counseling or grief treatment.
In the days of our grandparents and even our parents, the only real outlet was to reach out to a pastor, minister, or another spiritual leader for spiritual cleansing or prayer to a higher power. With psychology and psychiatry finally being recognized as a real forms of medicine, grief and loss treatment centers are now available for those suffering symptoms of true loss.
What Are The Types of Grief?
Types of grief include normal grief, absent grief, complicated grief, chronic grief, and delayed grief, just to name a few.
Grief is a widespread and well-understood term; however, each person experiencing profound sadness or intense emotions from grief are typically quite different for each person emotionally suffering. This often leads to difficult interactions with other family members, loved ones, friends, co-workers, and employees.
It can even negatively impact your dealings with the gas station attendant or someone in line with you at the local grocery store. Since we are all individuals and deal with emotional suffering and grief in our own unique way, it is important to seek proper grief treatment from mental health professionals or a grief treatment center.
Different types of grief may include but are not limited to:
- Normal Grief – A grieving process that lasts between six months to two years after a significant loss.
- Absent Grief – Defined as a loss of grief that in turn does not allow the individual to begin a healing process potentially leading to post traumatic stress disorder.
- Anticipatory Grief – When someone begins the grieving process before the actual loss whether that is from the death of a loved one, a divorce, or even the potential loss of a job or career.
- Delayed Grief – Defined when the individual does not have a natural response to grief and loss but becomes triggered by another life event or loss, creating a co-occurring response to both losses.
- Complicated Grief – The individual grieves for the loss of something that had a negative or traumatic effect on their own life experiences leading to guilt for the complicated grief that they experience. This could be a divorce from an abusive spouse or the death of a family member that they no longer wished to communicate with.
- Cumulative Grief – Defined as grief or loss that relates to more than one person /or situation. For example, losing a beloved parent and then immediately being laid off from your job.
- Disenfranchised Grief – This is when someone who is experiencing grief or loss feels they are denied their right to grieve due to societal expectations. This is common when an individual loses a beloved pet or even a partner in an extramarital affair.
- Inhibited Grief – Defined as grief that is ignored through outward expressions, and an individual rather distracts themselves with work overloads or other things to keep them busy rather than seeking treatment for their grief and loss.
- Distorted Grief – This is when an individual has an extreme response to their grief or loss by acting out emotionally or with anger or violence.
- Abbreviated Grief – Defined as grief that seems to dissipate quickly. This type of grief typically leads to substance abuse in an attempt to avoid experiencing their grief.
- Chronic Grief – This type of grief usually lasts much longer than normal grief and does not decrease with time.
- Collective Grief – Defined as grief that affects larger groups of people, usually stemming from tragedies of war, clusters of terminal illness, or even stemming from a tragedy where a larger group of people relate to the victim or their families.
Out of all of the types of grief listed above, typically, the most common type of grief is normal grief. However, even if you are experiencing normal grief, it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from seeking mental health treatment through a grief treatment center or program.
What Are The Normal Symptoms of Grief?
It is often hard to use the term normal when discussing how an individual deals with grief. There are some very normal things that occur both physically and mentally when dealing with grief and loss.
Some signs of the physical symptoms of grief and loss may include but are not limited to:
- Oversleeping or not sleeping enough
- Spells of dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Tightening in the chest or throat
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Getting physically sick
- Frequent infections in the body
- Severe anxiety
- Trouble remaining focused or on task
Some signs of the mental symptoms of grief and loss may include but are not limited to:
- Poor mental health
- Feelings of melancholy or depression
- Paranoia or irrational fear of their own or others’ safety and well being
- Irritability or bouts of anger
- Appearing confused
- Problems with memory, both short term and long term, including memory gaps
- Seeing or hearing the person or animal that has been lost
- Nightmares of reliving the trauma from the grief and loss or dreaming of their loved one
- Looking for their loved one despite acknowledging they have passed on
Although the above symptoms are considered to be common symptoms of loss and grief, it does not mean that these symptoms make a person “feel” normal. These symptoms can be quite unpleasant. If these symptoms are not dealt with in healthy ways, they can lead to mental illness, suicidal thoughts or suicide, or even an addiction to drugs or other substances.
It’s important to understand that many normal grief symptoms are part of the grieving process. However, if the grief is not dealt with in the proper stages, it can actually cause the more unpleasant symptoms of grief to last longer than needed. It can also cause more problems for individuals in the future.Contact us now
What Are The Five Stages of Grief?
The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Dealing with grief does not everyone will work through each stage before starting another. Some people may start with anger and then go back to denial. Some people will revisit certain stages of grief several times before reaching acceptance. The grieving process is often not a linear process.
Everyone copes with grief and loss differently as well. What works for one person may not work for another. Your neighbor may deal with the traumatic loss of her husband by holding a garage sale to clean up her cluttered home, or your boss may turn to a bottle of wine to get over his cheating wife. There are countless ways individuals deal with grief and loss, and sometimes they can differ quite drastically.
Despite how uniquely an individual deals with their grief and loss, the stages of grief are always the same.
The five stages of grief and loss are:
Each one of the stages mentioned above of grief are important to experience and work through grief effectively. Grief is generally considered a normal activity as a person experiences each type of emotion.
Denial is when the individual denies that the loss has occurred. An example of this may be believing that there’s been a mistake and a loved one isn’t actually dead. When an individual is faced with the pain of the loss, often they will withdraw from the conversation about the loss and pretend that everything is ok.
In normal grief, they might busy themselves with other things to keep their mind occupied and away from thoughts of their loved one. This allows them not to have to cope with their feelings of loss, and it makes sense to them. Sometimes people will pretend that their loved one is not actually gone and believe that they will return. This manifests itself as a person may continue to discuss their loved one or speak about them in the present tense.
Anger is the most common emotion when someone is dealing with their grief for the loss of a close friend or a loved one. This anger can be directed at anyone and often is even directed at themselves. This can cause damage to their mental health by creating a sense of guilt for the loss of life, relationship or even a job. It’s important to put a distinction between what is actually normal to be angry about the situation versus what may actually be causing harm.
Bargaining is quite a typical stage of grief found even before the real loss has even occurred. This happens when an individual starts praying that if God or their higher power would intervene and prevent the loss from happening, they will make a change or do something as a bargaining tool. This is a hard stage since it often creates extreme emotions of guilt which can lead some individuals to self-medicate or self-harm.
Depression is often the most difficult stage of grief and loss because if proper treatment options are not sought out, it can linger and create more long-term effects on that individual and their family. Depression will often cause someone to stop normal social activities and affect their job and their other relationships with loved ones. Depression does not only affect an individual’s mind but also their physical health. In some cases, depression has been linked to serious health ailments like heart disease.
Acceptance is the final stage and the one that is the most important to be able to honor the change or the loss of a loved one. Grieving begins to take on a new life and your emotions will start to level out, and your mental health will improve. This important stage often comes when an individual is given the proper support during their grieving process and is finally able to return to normal activities and a sense that everything will finally work itself out.
Grief Counseling And Treatment Centers in New Jersey
There is hope if you or someone you know is struggling with grief and loss. At Renewed Light Treatment Center in NJ, we offer a myriad of treatment options to help you or someone you love with adaptive ways to overcome such loss and improve your overall mental health. We offer family therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, and many other treatment options to help with the pain of death or the feelings of loss.
We offer true and comprehensive support to help anyone cope and let the true healing begin. Please contact us today to discuss our treatment center options and our admissions process so that you can no longer feel lost and start enjoying your life again!.