Common Issues Associated With Unaddressed Grief

Grief, like fear and pain, is a natural body response. There are five phases of grief, namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. While these are well known, everyone handles each stage differently and over different timeframes. In fact, some do not even experience some of these stages.

While every loved one’s death is hard, it is particularly difficult for those whose loved ones die from a terminal illness. This is because their grief often starts as soon as they receive the diagnosis of the terminal disease. Here comes the importance of grief support services in Indiana.

These services start right from the diagnosis of a terminal illness and continue long after a patient’s death. Most people, however, do not take advantage of these services since they assume they are emotionally strong to handle the difficult moment of loss. In most cases, these people are faced with various issues that might not have an apparent cause. The following are some of the common problems associated with decreased grief.

Constant Exhaustion

Prolonged grief eventually wears you out emotionally. While this is well known, few people associate their physical exhaustion with their grief. This manifests as constant and unexplained exhaustion. Fatigue as a consequence of grief can also be attributed to the decreased appetite in most grieving individuals.

Poor Memory

With physical and mental exhaustion, poor memory sets in. You will have trouble recalling even the most recent of events. In most cases, unfortunately, you are misdiagnosed as suffering from dementia, more so if you are aged above 50 years. Rather than expensive and lifelong memory-boosting medication, simple grief counseling can help you get your memory back.

Substance Abuse

Woman reaching for alcohol

Complicated grief is one of the leading risk factors for substance abuse. People, after all, will assume that drugs and alcohol are their best option to block out their grief. This usually leads to a dependency on different substances. Rehabilitation might help, but this needs considerable financial and time investment, and you might have already suffered irreversible damage to various body organs.

Decreased Immunity

Grief has been shown to trigger the release of different body hormones as the body tries to cope with various changes. These hormones, along with other elements, have been linked to a decreased immunity in grieving people. The decreased immunity increases your risk of a flare-up of allergic conditions and worsens already existing medical conditions.

Cardiac Conditions

A recent study indicated that susceptible people who lose a loved one have a 21-fold risk of getting a heart attack within 24 hours of the death. This is because the stress of grief causes an elevation of different cardiac enzymes. These, in turn, cause an increased heart rate. A constant increased heart rate leads to the development of stress cardiomyopathy.

There is no definite time limit for grieving. But grief counseling is integral in your overall health when dealing with a loved one in hospice. When choosing a hospice center for your loved one, therefore, the presence of grief counseling services is one of the elements that should sway your choice.