When should you seek professional help for grief?
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When should you seek professional help for grief?

While grief is a normal human process, it can be difficult to go through when you are grieving over something or someone. Grief and loss counseling are not often the first thing most people would think to turn to when going through these hard times. However, many Albertans find solace in turning to a professional for help. If you’re reading this article, something or someone may be telling you that it’s time to seek professional help. Here are some common reasons people come to us for grief counseling.

Time doesn’t seem to be healing the wound

Bereavement can take some time. While life will never fully return to the way it was before your grief, people start to get back to their life and function as best they can after a few months.

If this doesn’t happen or if you are still suffering up to one year later that it is impacting you in a big way, then complicated grief may have set in and professional help needs to be sought out for support. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to process these feelings when they come.

You’ve suffered a major loss

This could be the death of a spouse, a child, sibling, parent, or someone extremely close to you. Many people who seek grief counseling have experienced a major loss or have lost family and friends one after another.

Studies estimate that as much as 10-20% of individuals need support from mental health professionals and will develop this more severe condition due to a hard time healing the grief. Some people are more likely than others to develop complicated grief when experiencing a loss or major change in life circumstances.

It is common to experience a range of emotions after the death of someone close.

Some signs that complicated grief may be affecting you include:

  • Intense emotional pain and a feeling of being unable to get over the loss.
  • Difficulty focusing on anything other than your loss or going to extremes and avoiding responsibilities.
  • Being unable to accept that someone has died – either focusing too much on their memory or avoidance of the memories altogether.
  • Lacking purpose in life due to a lack of focus from the initial event causing a person’s worldview and purpose can change forever.
  • Inability to do normal activities such as maintaining personal hygiene routines.

If you are struggling with your emotions or find yourself not being able to get back into daily life activities, you can reach out for support from friends and family members who can help lift some of this burden off your shoulders.

If you feel down, depressed or anxious regularly, or you have no social support, take action by seeking professional advice. Remember, you are not alone and no one expects you to do this alone. Be sure you reach out and build a good support group, find a close person to keep in touch with, and seek professional advice to take the proper steps towards your healing.

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