Why does it have to be so complicated?

“Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break.” – William Shakespeare

I don’t claim to be a grief specialist but one thing that you will find consistently in my writing and advice is to not go it alone and how damaging grieving can be if you do not seek the support and guidance of a trained therapist or counselor. That is where you can talk it out….have needed releases of the pain, bitch about how hard it is to adjust to the new normal and accept what has happened, to resort out your goals and learn how to cope with the sadness that accompanies grieving.

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The greatest danger to your mental health by not properly processing grief is a condition called Complicated Grief Disorder, also known as traumatic or prolonged grief. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders refers to a situation in which many of grief’s common symptoms—such as powerful pining for the deceased (or significant loss), great difficulty moving on, a sense that life is meaningless, and bitterness or anger about the loss—­last longer than six months. MONTHS NOT YEARS! Do not let years go by while you suffer and destroy your physical/mental health and personal relationships.

Prolonged grieving is a mental health issue, not a natural process or symbolic of how much the person you lost meant to you. It doesn’t honor them or that time and it certainly does nothing to promote healing to fixate on the loss by “daydreaming every day” or “delusionally hoping some how, some time….”X” will happen.” all that is doing is holding you hostage to the grief and loss.

Grief should be resolved. Death certainly will stay with you and on some level be unresolved but cope-able. All other losses must be fully resolved or they will be transformed into a medically recognized mental health disorder that requires treatment. If you are already more than 6 months from your loss and still feel the persistent grief symptoms that find you sitting on your back patio lost in thoughts and pain for hours, please understand that you are in a mentally precarious situation that at this point can not be resolved on your own and requires professional medical help.

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