WHEN GRIEF NEEDS MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
At some point in every adult’s life, we all go through periods of grief. Whether it’s loss of a personal relationship, the loss of a loved one, or any other traumatic event, everyone goes through the stages of grief. And most people come out the other side no worse for wear. However, sometimes unresolved grief lingers, and it can drastically worsen your mental well-being.
If your grief just won’t go away, it’s time to look at professional treatment to resolve your emotional pain. You may be suffering from complicated grief, which does not resolve like typical mourning. To overcome this sense of loss, you’ll need professional mental health care.
Do I Have Complicated Grief?
Feeling depressed is a natural reaction to loss. But when that feeling won’t go away for months on end, this could be a sign of complicated grief, or grief that requires additional help. Unfortunately, there are no hard rules for when “normal” loss turns into a mental health concern. But in general, there are several signs of complicated grief that you can watch out for:
- Feelings of depression that persist for longer than 12 months.
- Grieving that feels debilitating and prevents you from playing an active role in your daily life.
- Inability to move through the grieving process.
In some cases, you may be unsure whether you’re living with complicated grief or a depressive disorder. Because the feelings are so similar, it’s important that you seek professional assessment to ensure that you’re treating the right mental health condition. Now, let’s take a look at how mental health care can help you.
What Can Mental Health Treatment Do for Me?
No matter how you experience grief, you can get help that addresses your needs. Even if you’ve never spoken to a mental health professional before, there is never a bad time to start. Let’s examine some of the most common treatments for grief and how they can help you and your unique situation.
Individual Talk Therapy
Talk psychotherapy is a proven method for helping people come to terms with traumatic events. By discussing any traumatic events with a licensed mental health professional, you’ll gain new perspective and coping skills to help you in your recovery.
At The Blackberry Center in Florida, we employ a therapeutic treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). According to the Mayo Clinic, in CBT, you and a therapist will identify harmful thought patterns like “I deserve this” or “Everything is my fault.” By identifying and addressing these self-destructive thoughts, you will be able to address the symptoms of your grief directly. And when you build up healthier, more constructive thought patterns, you’ll find it much easier to transition back into your daily life.
Whether you’re coming to terms with the death of a loved one, you’ve learned that you or someone you care about is terminally ill, or any other upsetting event, our trained psychiatric professionals will help you move through the stages of grief.
Going through complicated grief may leave you feeling isolated, like nobody else understands your experience. But group therapy can help you find people going through similar situations, and from there, you can share your coping skills and offer support to get each other through these difficult times.
Part of the beauty of support groups is having a safe, communal space to discuss personal issues. Guided by one of our therapeutic experts, these sessions will encourage you and your group members to find new ways to work through your grief by relying on the support of your community.
In some cases, family therapy can go a long way in helping you come to terms with grief. And this is especially true if your grief is related to the death or injury of a family member. By relying on your familial bonds, you can discover new support as you work through the grieving process.
All of our family therapy sessions are guided by our clinical care staff. Family therapy may entail repairing of relationships with family members, educating family members on grief, and having a discussion with family members about how they can support you once you complete your mental health treatment program. Ultimately, our goal with family therapy is to set you up for a long-term recovery of your mental health issues.
After a loved one has died, there’s a level of social acceptance to temporarily drinking to numb the pain. And while this may be viewed as permissible by some, it is in fact a dangerous behavior that could lead to long-term addiction issues. When you use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, it can worsen your existing mental health issues. And as your mental well-being declines, you’ll feel more reason to turn to substance abuse to cope. These are called co-occurring disorders, and they’re why we offer dual diagnosis treatment to people suffering from addiction and mental health issues.
In our dual diagnosis programming, mental health experts and addiction specialists come together to help you address both of these issues simultaneously. In this way, you can effectively recover from both issues without leaving untreated conditions that could lead to relapse later in life.
You Can Move on From Grief
No matter how bad you feel right now, there is always a way to get the mental health care that you need. Complicated grief can derail your life, but now is the time to regain control.
If you have questions about how we help people deal with grief, call our admissions specialists at (813) 908-4199 or fill out a confidential contact form. Remember, the sooner you ask for help, the sooner you can begin to move on from your grief.