Office Hours:
Monday: 12- 9 pm Tuesday: 12- 7 pm Wednesday: 12 - 9 pm Thursday: 12 - 7 pm Friday: 12 - 9 pm

Address:
720 45th Street
Munster , IN 46321

 

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Coping with Loss

We all deal with loss many times throughout the course of our lives. Usually Loss is associated with the death of loved ones, but it can take many other forms too. What may seem on the surface to be a minor or trivial change in our life can actually bring on the pain of grief due to loss. Though change may bring with it a sense of loss, there is also the promise of growth and gain as we work through our feelings.

Sometimes, the anguish of loss is so painful we just don't want to experience it. We deny the feelings we have and in doing this the grief process is interrupted. Because grieving is essential to coping with loss, not grieving can be very harmful to our emotional and physical well-being.

GRIEVING

One way to think of grief is to describe it as a reaction to any important loss. Parts of ourselves, in the form of energy, attention, and feelings, are invested in people and things that have value to us. When those things are gone, we also grieve over a lost part of ourselves. Acute grief is marked by symptoms of bodily distress, such as fatigue and loss of appetite, a preoccupation with the image of the lost loved one, guilt and anger reactions, and a loss of normal behavior patterns such as changes in daily routine and a loss of social skills. It is important to remember that grief is not a temporary state, but rather a process of healing.

There are four stages to the grief process:

  • numbness and shock
  • searching and pinning
  • depression
  • restructuring

These stages only provide us with a model of the process, since there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each of us needs to find our own unique way of passing through the storm of grief to emerge as a stronger individual.

UNRESOLVED GRIEF

When grief can't follow its usual paths towards wholeness and healing, it can turn towards some dangerous avenues of expression. Unresolved grief can appear as illness, disease, and even death.

Blocked feelings, those that are not acknowledged and expressed, can have profound effects on the immune system. Research indicates that the immune system helps defend the body against cancer. It seems to be the way we deal with stress (such as that brought by loss) in addition to the stress itself, that disturbs the various systems in our bodies.

Depression is a normal part of grief. It allows us to experience feelings of anger and guilt slowly, in our own time. But when we bury those feelings, the depression lingers, the movement towards growth comes to a halt, and life becomes a chore.

Emotional breakdowns as well as self-destructive behaviors, including substance abuse, can affect our well-being. It becomes apparent that unresolved grief due to unblocked feelings can become life-threatening.

HELPING OTHERS

In many societies, it is important to maintain an image of strength and control. We learn how to hold back many of our feelings. Because of this it is often difficult to know what to say to someone or how to help them after they have suffered a loss.

It might help us to respond in a supportive way if we remember:

  • Grief is a process that leads to health and growth. There is no correct way to grieve, and people will find their own unique way to process grief.
  • A person experiencing grief must be allowed to express their feelings.
  • Be willing to listen. This will encourage sharing.

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Our Office Serves: Munster, IN, Dyer, IN, Highland, IN, Griffith IN, St. John IN, Schererville IN, Merrillville IN, Crown Point IN, Hobart IN, Valparaiso, IN, Lansing IL, Flossmoor IL, Homewood IL, Orland Park IL