Although death is a part of life, it can be the most psychologically distressing experience we are ever likely to face.
Numbness appears to be the best word to describe how the bereaved feel at first – this numbness can typically last from a few hours to several weeks. Those grieving for someone close may appear to the outside world to be completely OK, but only because they are functioning 'automatically'. They do the necessary, but asked to recall what they have just done or what they were up to even yesterday, they can't remember. Following numbness, then symptoms of depression, denial, anger, irritability and restlessness can dominate. These can last roughly up to between six months and a year following a loss.
Even when you are coping successfully, symptoms like these can recur around significant anniversaries and holidays. Generally by around 6 months, many are on the road to recovery. This practically means acceptance of the loss accompanied by a return to the level of functioning at work and leisure and other interests, which preceded the tragedy.
By calling our counselling team on 0203 326 9160 we will recommend one of our psychotherapy team who specialise in bereavement counselling in the UK.
Help starts with an initial meeting, in which you will chat with one of our counsellors. If you decide that you are comfortable with your bereavement counsellor and that you can speak with them easily, you can plan to meet again to help and support you through this difficult time.
The commonest psychological complication to bereavement is major clinical depression, and it can take usually 2 months to have passed from the start of the bereavement, before it becomes clear that this diagnosis is warranted. Studies have now established that bereavement leads to chronic depression in approximately 10–15% of people.
Signs that more is going on with a grieving person than 'just' bereavement, include guilt, suicidal feelings, worthlessness, severely slowed body movements, continued severe inability to work or conduct other relationships, and even persistent hallucinations. Immediate treatment is therefore recommended.
At Clinical Partners we have trained specialists who have extensive experience and training in bereavement counselling. They will allow you to speak confidentially about your feelings and help you through the grieving process.
Bereavement counselling also helps you deal with your feelings and cope with the reactions of others as well as learning to adapt and helping you to look to the future.
We do recommend that if other psychological problems beyond the usual stressful processes are occurring, you should seek treatment urgently.
By calling our Clinical Team in the UK on 0203 326 9160 they will discuss your situation and recommend a specialist for you.