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10 Signs That You May Need Grief Counseling - Phaneuf

10 Signs That You May Need Grief Counseling

Everyone deals with grief in different ways. For some people that might be away from others, for others it may be among the comfort of friends and family. For some it may take weeks, for others it may be months before they can achieve closure. But how do you know when you need help? How do you decide that your grief has reached beyond its boundaries and crossed over into affecting your life, long-term? Consider these ten signs that might indicate that you may need to seek help.

  1. Numbness to Emotion
    Feeling sad, confused or even happy is entirely acceptable during periods of mourning, so if you are feeling entirely numb and unable to reach any of these emotions, there may be cause for alarm.
  2. Avoiding Time with Family and Friends
    Sometimes we need to be alone to process our grief, but if this feeling persists and you find yourself avoiding spending time with your loved ones, consider why.
  3. Loss of Enjoyment
    Your life does not stop in the face of grief. You are still you, you still have your interests and goals. If your grief is preventing you from pursuing activities that you enjoy or stopping you from reaching for new opportunities, you may just need help finding your way forward.
  4. Fear of Forming Relationships
    Apprehension of new relationships due to the fear of loss is extremely common in cases of severe grieving, but of course this is something of which you should be wary. In order to move forward and continue to grow, we must forge new relationships.
  5. Busywork to Escape Feelings
    While this is an extremely common way of dealing with loss, staying busy to avoid feeling sad is not a good long-term solution. Eventually, you will need to face your feelings and if you are unable to do so on your own, it may be wise to ask for a helping hand.
  6. Thoughts of Hurting Yourself
    These types of feelings should never be ignored and must be addressed with a professional, or at the very least a trusted friend or family member who may be able to support you in getting help.
  7. Inability to Continue Normal Activities
    If you are unable to eat, sleep or participate in work/school, this is a clear sign that you need a bit of help with coping.
  8. Sudden Changes in Behavior
    As you experience grief, it is normal to have some changes in mood, but if you find that you are acting in ways that feel entirely unfamiliar, this may be cause for concern. Some things to look for: irrational anger, excessive drinking, drug use or destructive relationships.
  9. Hallucinations/Voices
    We may sometimes find comfort in hearing or seeing our loved one after they have passed, but if you persist in seeing or hearing what is not there to others, consider looking deeper and finding out why it keeps occurring. Be especially wary if what you are seeing or hearing is angry or accusing.
  10. Inability to Move On
    If you find yourself unable to move on from your loss months after it has occurred, you may just be a bit stuck. This is nothing of which to be ashamed, sometimes we all need a bit of help.

Remember, although it may make us feel vulnerable, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, even if you find that counseling is not necessary, support from family and friends is an essential component of dealing with grief. If you do feel that grief counseling would be beneficial, begin by talking to your primary health provider and take a look at these resources .

Here are local grief resources for you or your loved ones.

  • Teresa Reply January 3, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    I can’t get over the hurt of losing my husband in Sept. I don’t want to ever go or do anything. This is the worst of the worst in my life. I cry every day. What should I do?

  • Lou Reply January 2, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Has anyone suffered with sadness with grief a few years down the line I’ve been off for a few months now and new year eve really hit me this year with not hearing my mam voice it been 5 years can this normal with grievance ?

  • Evelia Ramirez Reply September 15, 2018 at 10:59 am

    How can i help a 3 year old who just lost a brother. She is too young to communicate her feelings . but she is starting to show anger and fear . especially at night. What can i do.

  • Becca Holton Reply February 21, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I completely agree there’s nothing to be ashamed when you need help. Personally, I feel like everyone goes through some kind of mental or emotional trauma that could be helped with counseling. That’s why it’s probably more common to get therapeutic assistance than people think.

  • Ysabella Minelli Reply November 29, 2017 at 12:32 am

    My sister passed away last month, and since then, my younger brother who was her twin suddenly changed. Among the signs that you gave he three was present in him. He’s avoiding spending time with us, he no longer finds the things he loves to be enjoyable, and he hasn’t moved on yet because I frequently see him crying his eyes out in his room. I think it’s for the best that I take him for grief counseling. Thanks.

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