Dealing with the grief of losing a loved one is an unfortunate, but universal, experience. While this grief affects us all differently, making use of grief counseling after having lost a parent or a relative in the military can go a long way toward helping you deal with the feelings that come up after such an incident. This type of therapy can take several forms and provide benefits that you might not be able to access on your own.
When to Seek Grief Therapy
Losing a loved one is never easily, and there’s often a shared experience of feeling that you can’t deal with the situation. However, when this feeling persists, and it begins to affect your job, relationships, or personal goals, it may be time to seek out a grief counselor. Especially with the advent of war in the Middle East, many of us have family members in the military, and this type of death can be especially hard: not knowing if or when you’ll see a family member again takes a toll, and the shock that comes with a death in the family may require a mental health therapist to help you deal with your feelings.
Possible Side Effects of Grief: Eating Disorders, Depression, and Physical Symptoms
Because the death of someone you love is a significant life change, you may experience other effects that you wouldn’t have anticipated. Some people who lose a mother or father turn to food in order to gain control over their situation, either over-eating or under-eating. A licensed therapist, specializing in either grief counseling or eating disorders, can help you see how your grief and eating patterns are connected and how you might overcome that associated issue. The same may occur with depression or other physical symptoms, such as:
- Higher blood pressure
- Increased trouble with diabetes
- Heightened allergies
- Stomach problems or headaches
A mental health professional can both help you understand that these are normal reactions as well as helping you to continue living a healthy lifestyle while you sort through your grief.
What to Expect in Grief Counseling
Many of us are familiar with the five stages of grief laid out by Kubler-Ross, even if the name isn’t familiar: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, if you’ve lost a parent, there’s no “one way” to deal with your feelings, and you may not follow that pattern. A counseling center can help you analyze how you’re grieving and identify patterns or repetitions that are keeping you down and causing your depression. A therapist can also help you work through your experience of losing a parent or family member in the military to appreciate the time you had with that person and find a way to move forward without him or her. If you’ve recently lost someone close to you, reach out to a North Dallas grief counselor at New Horizons and get the help you need.