Traumatic Grief and Loss
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”― John Green
Unexpected loss such as the sudden death of your loved ones, the one you were able to hold, embrace and stay together with, is now no more around you such unprepared traumas are always difficult to make their way through the reality and be accepted and they usually leave you overwhelmed and shattered in your life behind them. On the other hand, a significant loss in business or failures can leave a similar impact on your mental health.
The loss or failures that are not foreseen and therefore the victim is not prepared for them and they leave the person devastated even after the situation itself has passed are known as trauma loss.
The prolonged feeling experienced by the victim of traumatic loss of being hurt, angry, and hopeless is said to be trauma grief.
The traumatic effects can be experienced victim to victim with great variability. The nature of trauma is not only the aspect that matters but the personal factors are also major concerns that fuel this variability. The personal factors may include cognition, emotionality, past trauma history, coping capacities, and environmental factors like resources and accessibility to obtain help. However, not only the sudden deaths of loved ones are the reason for people experiencing traumatic grief. It is observed that people who have suffered from loved one’s death after a terminal illness, the departure or separation of close love ones can also be indulged in traumatic grief and loss.
Here a list of common symptoms is given below that are caused by trauma and can be experienced by the person ranging from severe to mild depending on the type of trauma and personal factors.
- Intrusive re-experiencing
- Functional and occupation impairment
- Loss or increase in appetite
- Excess consumption of alcohol
- Dissconnectivity with surroundings
- Guilt and self-blame
- Fear and anxiety
- Withdrawal and loss of interest
- Continuing restlessness and distress
- Avoidance behaviors
- Ceaseless grief and aching
Traumatic loss never leaves a person easily as it keeps recurring from time to time and overcoming it is a very agonizing and trial and error based process. You can’t simply get rid of it at once. Carefully planned strategies can be a great asset to get out of your continuing mental distress. So here we’re discussing some invaluable strategies to help you in coping up with traumatic loss:
- Get busy
Fake it until you make it. Although it is always difficult to unlearn the painful experiences it is more agonizing to keep remembering what is not going to be changed, therefore even not wholeheartedly just fake to get yourself into some activities that are not stressful to your mind such as journaling, meditation, painting, cycling, swimming, dancing and many other. Keep doing them until your attention is completely diverted from your pain towards them.
- Be in connection
Isolating yourself means opening yourself to negative overthinking. Be in a pleasant environment with the people who make you feel pleasant. You don’t need to talk about trauma necessarily if you don’t want to. Ask them to give you time until you feel like talking about it. Then let it all out to someone who listens to you with great attention without judging you. Do not damage your relationships, they are the ones that can help you in coming back to ease.
Small Steps for Big Changes
Other than the above-mentioned lifestyle changes here are some small steps that can be helpful as well:
- Taking care of your health
- Having a healthy intake of food
- Consulting with the professional if the symptoms exceed the bearing limit
- Have ample sleep
- Eliminate unhealthy habits such as alcohol intake, late-night waking and binge eating
- Mindful breathing
- Getting the insight into your trauma; accepting it and deliberately getting out of it
- Staying flexible and hopeful during treatment
To heal your loss and grief is a time taking process so let it be done with unconditional positivity and hope.