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How to Help Someone Who’s Grieving


When someone you care about is grieving after a loss, it can be difficult to know what to say. Grief is marked by many intense and painful emotions, including extreme sadness, guilt, and anger. Grief can also be isolating and lonely since the difficult emotions can be challenging to express, and the situation itself may be unique to the person. If you are unsure how to help someone who is grieving, the experts at our Sebring drug rehab share some useful tips.


How Can Grief Affect Your Mental Health?

Grief can occur in one of two ways - acute or persistent. Most people experience acute grief in the first 6 to 12 months after a loss, and it resolves over time. Some, however, experience persistent grief, which is defined as grief that persists for longer than 12 months.

The death of a loved one can affect both the mind and body. During a period of grief, it is normal for individuals to become preoccupied with thoughts, memories, and images of their loved one, have trouble accepting the loss, and experience waves of sadness and yearning for the individual.

Chronic stress is also a typical result of acute grief on the mind, which can contribute to other physical and emotional problems. Common effects of grief on mental health include depression, difficulty sleeping, anger, bitterness, anxiety, loss of appetite, and general aches and pains. Ignoring these symptoms can contribute to chronic stress, which can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and, if ignored, even death.

While acute grief is normal, people who experience persistent grief should seek mental health treatment to help them through the grieving process. This may include therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and complicated grief therapy. It can also help to spend time with loved ones who can offer grieving support.


How to Support Someone Who Is Grieving

Helping someone grieve can be challenging, especially if you cannot relate to their situation. It may seem as if nothing you can do or say will help, but do not give up. You cannot take their pain away, but you can make the process easier for them. Below are some tips on how to help someone who is grieving and make this challenging period more manageable.

  • Make them meals: When they are grieving, many people neglect basics like eating. Not only can grief cause physical symptoms like stomach aches and reduced appetite, but it can also make it difficult for the person to get out of bed and make a meal. Therefore, making a meal and sitting down to enjoy it with them ensures that they are eating, gets them out of their routine, and allows you to spend some time with them.
  • Take them out: Depending on how soon the incident or loss was, offer to take your loved one out. This can be something as simple as going out to have lunch or to watch a movie. Again, this breaks them out of a routine and can remind them that it is okay to move on.
  • Help with chores: Just as a grieving person may not want to get out of bed to eat, it’s also common for individuals going through this to pay less attention to chores like laundry, cleaning, or shopping for groceries. If these are things that you notice the individual needs help with, do not ask. Just do whatever needs to be done. Do their laundry, wash their dishes, sweep, and mop. Not only are you lifting the stress of these responsibilities off their shoulders, but you are also creating a clean and stress-free environment for them.
  • Give them space and make small gestures: Sometimes, people just need time to grieve, and that is okay. Send your loved one a text occasionally, to remind them that you are thinking of them or to send an encouraging quote or Bible verse. You can even send them a card, flowers, or candy. These small gestures can be enough to pull the person out of their sadness, even if it is just for a moment.

For individuals who are experiencing persistent grief, professional help may be their next step. Depression and anxiety often accompany persistent grief, which comes with symptoms of their own that can be highly distressing. Our Banyan Sebring, FL, drug rehab offers various adult mental health services that can offer the care needed to recover from grief and other mental health struggles.


For more information about our Sebring drug treatment or mental health care, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information.


Related Reading:

Grief and Alcohol: Why You Shouldn’t Drink the Pain Away

Stages of Grief in Addiction Recovery

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
How to Help Someone Who’s Grieving
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