What is Grief?
Grief is not a straightforward emotion. It is a powerful set of feelings that often comes in waves over time, depending on the loss.
You’ve likely heard of the five stages of grief before, which are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance (funeralresources.com). Even though these five steps have been generally accepted, they don't necessarily align with our actual experience with grief; everyone will move through these stages of grief in their own order and at their own pace.
An important takeaway from the five stages is that these emotions are very common. However, just because they are common doesn't mean you have to endure them on your own. Finding a support system while healing from grief can help you reach the 'acceptance' stage faster so you can move forward in life.
That said, here are 4 telling signs that you need to seek out grief counseling in Chicago
1. Persistent Depression
The loss of a loved one can be a traumatic event, and feeling depressed is a normal response. Typically, you can expect to experience depression-like symptoms for a few weeks or months. But it may be helpful to seek a counselor if you're experiencing ongoing symptoms of distress, such as crying, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased irritability/anger, or panic attacks. These outbreaks can conflict with everyday tasks, including basic self-care, which can have consequences down the line.
2. Substance Dependence
Many times when our emotions get the best of us, we may seek out distractions to cope. If you're leaning on substances or engaging in self-destructive behaviors, like gambling, it is a sign that you need therapeutic intervention. These troubling behaviors can be very difficult to break and they aren't sustainable choices for managing grief. A grief counselor can work with you to determine healthy coping mechanisms that will benefit you in the long run.
3. In a State of Disbelief
It is often not easy to swallow a devastating loss. When a loved one passes away, it can feel nearly impossible to accept the facts of the situation. It may be easier to pretend the person is still alive or put off the news altogether. But avoiding your emotions can be harmful to you if it persists. Working with a grief counselor can help you wrap your mind around the loss in a safe and supported environment.
4. Others are Worried
If you're worried about yourself, or others have expressed concern for your well-being, it is time to seek a therapist. When friends, family, or coworkers have noticed a decline in your mental health, it shows that your grief is impacting other areas of your life. When this happens, it can feel as though those around you don't understand what you're going through. But a counselor will. Seeking help will benefit your well-being and those around you.
Get a Grief Counseling in Chicago Today
If you're struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one, our mental health professionals can help you find the relief you need.
At Wellington Counseling Group, we have multiple mental health providers on staff with extensive experience in grief counseling. Our licensed counselors will develop an individualized treatment plan to help address your emotions and improve your quality of life.
Contact Wellington Counseling Group today to book your first session for grief counseling in Chicago.