The ultimate reality of grief is it forever tied to love. Love creates attachment and loss breaks that attachment. The greater the love, the greater the grief. It is within this fallen construct of reality that we see the cruel paradox of life. Do we not love because of this? Of course not, we accept the realities of life and properly understand that death plays as much as a role in life as birth. Many hope to ignore death and loss but this is unhealthy. It is important to discuss life but also death. In doing so, one can better understand the losses that eventually find everyone. Part of being alive is experiencing loss. We need to understand loss, help others through it and adjust.
There is a reason there is no true recovery in grief. Since love is forever, so is grief. The only difference is that when grief is properly handled, the acute grief becomes integrated into our life. Unfortunately, some experience complications in grief and are unable to integrate. Hence the grief response which is both healthy and natural becomes distorted.
The video below covers many basic grief ideas and can serve as a great educational tool.
Many individuals deal with depression and exhibit few if any symptoms. They are able to look content and happy and may even feel happy or have an uplifted mood at times. For the most part though, they feel unworthy and sad about life and are oppressed with depressive feelings. The ability to look well and smile and be able to function does not mean they are not depressed. This type of depression is difficult for professionals to diagnose due to the lack of symptoms that are hidden by the individual.
The article, “What Is Smiling Depression?” by Claudia Rodriguez and reviewed by Bethany Juby looks at what Smiling Depression is and how to work through it. The article states,
“While you might think that you’d notice signs of depression in someone, that’s not always the case. If you experience smiling depression, you may appear perfectly happy from the outside but have symptoms of depression behind closed doors.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a certified Grief Counselor.
In diagnosis, psychologists are aware of the differences between Bi Polar and Depression. Both are mood disorders but Bi Polar Disorder has manic highs and lows, while depression is a permanent low. However, a manic low can last so long as to disguise itself as depression. It is important for licensed professional counselors to identify these differences.
The article, “Bipolar Disorder and Depression” from Healthline looks at these differences. The article states,
“A healthcare professional will examine you and ask about your mood and medical history. They may also request blood tests to rule out a thyroid condition or other medical condition that may cause symptoms similar to depression. A psychiatrist or other mental health professional can confirm the diagnosis.”
It is important for non licensed professionals who do grief counseling not to attempt to treat depression or bi polar but to refer them to licensed professional care. Some grief counselors who are already licensed care givers, can treat a patient but those who are not, must not attempt to counsel beyond basic loss and grief. Depression and Bi Polar require a higher training and licensed position.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in grief counseling.
In times of crisis suicidal thinking can overtake, but it can also gradually creep into the mind of the person via depression. Understanding and identifying suicidal depression is important and can save a life.
The article, “Understanding Suicidal Depression” from Healthline explores the characteristics of suicidal depression. The article states,
“When someone has clinical depression with suicidal ideation as a symptom, Marshall says it means that they are experiencing suicidal thoughts as part of their overall health symptoms. “However, it’s important to remember the vast majority of people who are depressed do not go on to die by suicide,” she explains.”
It is important to never underestimate suicidal thoughts and to help individuals find the help and care they need if beyond one’s ability. If someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it is important to delve deeper into how well thought a potential plan is and also the ability to carry out that plan. In addition it is important to make a pact that if someone feels they can no longer cope to call or let you know.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professional seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
During the pandemic it has been difficult to live a normal life. With the vaccine on its way and some already receiving it, life can in some ways turn to normal, but grief and loss during these years will not be washed away with a vaccine. There is no vaccine for grief and it is part of life. It is important to deal with grief and learn to better live with it.
The article, “There Is No Vaccine for Grief” by A.C Shilton presents an excellent story on the reality we cannot just make grief go away but instead must face it. He presents a few steps to help others deal with grief and learn to face sad emotions. He states,
“Inoculating yourself against feelings of loss may prove harder than getting a routine vaccine. “Grief is as unique as a thumbprint. What works for one person may not work for another,” said Deanna Upchurch, the director of clinical outreach services at the Providence-based hospice HopeHealth. ”
There is no quick fix for grief. During the pandemic, the fear of loss has tormented society, instead of fleeing those fears, indulge them briefly and analyze the feelings and see if there are better ways to cope with potential loss and how to deal with those we love.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling
Miscarriages are sometimes a forgotten grief. Parents suffer greatly who lose a child due to miscarriage. It is unseen, and sometimes unknown, so the ability to find support can be difficult. Both husband and wife share in the pain but many times the born children are left in the dark regarding the lost. Children need to be explanations if a miscarriage occurs.
These explanations need to be age appropriate. They also need to ensure the child knows there is no blame for the loss but that sometimes these things can happen.
The article, “How To Talk To Kids About Miscarriage” by Jessica Zucker takes a closer look and on how to discuss the loss during miscarriage to children. She states,
“Much like conversations centering around divorce or a parent separation, it’s common for children to immediately blame themselves for a pregnancy or infant loss. This is primarily due to their cognitive development, which leave them centering themselves and/or only seeing things through their perspectives. So it’s vital that throughout the conversation, and perhaps even at the start, you remind your child that they are in no way responsible for any pregnancy outcome, especially one that ends in a loss. And, that it’s not the fault of the mom either.”
Please also review The American Academy of Grief’s Grief Counseling Program as well as its Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Certification and see if they meet your professional and academic needs. The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
When something bad happens to a friend or something bad happens in the news, it is natural to fear that it could possibly happen to you. This uncertainty may make one focus on losing a loved one although it is unlikely it could occur. This can create extreme anxiety and create the feeling of the potential loss.
In this fallen world, happiness is not complete. With everything gained, it will eventually be taken back. This is a reality of the world. However to become obsessed with things that probably will not occur traumatically or suddenly, can sullen the happiness one possesses in the present. The focus and fear on the future can bring grief that should not be actualized because nothing has occured.
The article, “Grief, Loss, and Intolerance of Uncertainty” from “What’s Your Grief” looks at this concept of Intolerance of Uncertainty. The article states,
“People very reasonably say to me – “The chances of that terrible thing happening are so low – why do you worry?” To which I usually respond, “Well, if it has to happen to someone, why shouldn’t it be me?” I’m not sure whether I’ve always taken such issue with the unknown, but I’m certain that being exposed to loss has exacerbated my fears. ”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four certification as a Grief Counselor
Certain times of the year can cause seasonal depression or SAD. Usually it is during the Winter months that most face a type of seasonal depression. The shorter days, lack of outside air and the inability to do more things due to the weather can contribute to this condition.
The article, “How to Recognize and Address Seasonal Depression” Ashley Abramson looks deeper at seasonal depression and how to address it. She states,
“A distinct, seasonal pattern is key to recognizing S.A.D., feeling normal during spring and summer, then dwindling in energy and mood as days get shorter — almost like you want to hibernate. If you have a family member with S.A.D., you might be more likely to develop it, and Dr. Desan said the disorder is three times more common in women.”
Seasonal depression is something that can ruin the hidden joys of the Winter season and also push a person into a type of hibernation that robs the body of a more physical routine. It is important to identify and find help if necessary. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
On multiple occasions, individuals seek to rush through the grieving process hoping to eradicate the pain and emotion. They look to reach the finish line of a incorrect timeline set by others. They feel grief has an expiration time and must be resolved. In many ways, they view grief as a pathological parasite that is preventing them from healing. While grief is an adapting period to loss and pain, there is no set time table for complete. In reality, noone truly recovers from grief or loss, if one did, then the loss would have little value.
Recovery from grief is a myth. Adjustment is the only reality. There is healthy adjustment and pathological un-adjustment, but ultimately, grief remains part of the human condition. Hence if one does not achieve closure to loss, that is fine. It is OK to not to find the perfect closure to a loss. In fact, it is quite normal not find closure to something we lost. It is the price of love not to be OK with losing someone special but we learn to adjust and manage that loss.
The article, “Closure Isn’t a Thing in Grief and That’s Okay” from Whats Your Grief presents an excellent review regarding grief and closure. The article states,
“There are a handful of reasons why people expect closure in grief. For much of our history, grief theory models have given people the impression that grief follows a set of stages or tasks. So, many people think grief is a finite process with a beginning and an end.”
With so many tasks, or steps, it is easy to misunderstand the science of grief. It is easy to think their is an end, but these tasks and steps are only guidelines presented that are truly not a system that all follow or must follow but merely are a collection of ideas regarding grief and how individuals face grief. Grief is messy and it bounces all over. These guidelines are merely guidelines to outline how one can find a healthy adaptation not necessarily an elimination of all emotion over the loss.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Depression is not merely sadness but is a complication of grief itself. It is even beyond loss gone wrong and failure to adjust but can be random and without loss to identify. Depression can cause extreme and intense sadness over an extended period of time with a multitude of symptoms. Hopelessness, loss of interest in life, intense sadness, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, inability to communicate, decreased energy, irritability and thoughts of suicide are all symptoms of depression.
Depression is not something a certified grief counselor who is not licensed in counseling can deal with alone. If not licensed, and a grief counselor, it is essential to identify the depression and refer the patient to a licensed professional counselor who can provide the therapy and if necessary medications needed for the patient.
The article, “What Is Major Depressive Disorder?” by Jen Sinrich looks at the different types of depression that exist and symptoms to look out for in patients. She states,
“This serious condition is far more than a bout of the blues. Depression is a persistent condition that diminishes a person’s ability to function in their day-to-day life and can manifest with physical symptoms as well, including chronic pain or gastrointestinal problems.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling