The experience of bereavement, or the loss of a loved one, is often associated with grief - a range of emotions including sadness, anger, anxiety, and guilt. While it is a normal process for everyone, some individuals may find it especially challenging to cope with their feelings of loss, leading to what is known as "complicated grief". This can result in feelings of isolation, irritability, and even depression that do not subside over time.
The symptoms of bereavement can be overwhelming and can include intense sorrow and pain, difficulty accepting the death, feeling that life has no purpose, numbness and detachment, irritability or agitation, lack of trust in others, and an inability to enjoy life or think back on positive experiences with the lost loved one. Additionally, one may find themselves focusing solely on the death of their loved one and the things that remind them of them, or alternatively attempting to avoid them altogether.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by grief and its symptoms, such as difficulty carrying out normal routines or activities, withdrawing from social activities, depression, guilt/self-blame, a lack of purpose in life, and/or wishing that you had died along with your loved one, then therapy can help. It's important to reach out for help if you think your grief has developed into something more complicated.
If you have been grieving for longer than four to eight weeks, it is important to seek help. An integrative therapeutic approach can be beneficial in exploring your relationship with the person you lost. Schema Therapy may be a helpful solution for individuals who had a complex relationship with the deceased person. It is also normal to feel sadness and tearfulness, and these emotions can affect your ability to manage daily life.