grief intervention

Grief Interventions

Grief is a natural, albeit painful, part of the human experience. We all face it at some point, and everyone grieves uniquely. However, grief can become all-encompassing, preventing someone from living a fulfilling life.

At Whitman Recovery Service, we recognize the nuances of complex grief. In observation of Grief Awareness Day on Aug. 30, this post explores the grieving process, the point at which grief becomes a debilitating concern and the role an interventionist can play.

Understanding the Grieving Process

In its simplest terms, grief is the emotional response to loss. The process typically involves five stages.

  1. Denial: Refusing to believe or accept reality.
  2. Anger: Lashing out due to the pain of the loss.
  3. Bargaining: Attempting to make a deal with a higher power to alleviate the pain or change the situation.
  4. Depression: Feeling lingering, profound sadness and hopelessness.
  5. Acceptance: Coming to terms with the loved one’s death.

While these stages serve as a general framework, everyone’s journey is unique. Some might not experience every stage, or they may go through them in a different order.

Signs of Complex Grief

Complex grief – sometimes referred to as complicated or prolonged grief – goes beyond the typical phases described above. It’s chronic, affecting a person’s ability to function for an extended period.

Warning signs include:

  • Intense longing for the deceased, lasting several months or years.
  • Persistent feelings of numbness or disbelief.
  • Difficulty accepting the death.
  • Intense bitterness or anger related to the loss.
  • Feeling that life lacks meaning without the departed.
  • Avoidance of anything related to the deceased.
  • Inability to enjoy life or remember positive memories.
  • Feeling disconnected or detached from others.
  • Persistent yearning to join the lost loved one.
  • Difficulty resuming typical daily routines or responsibilities.

Recognizing the Need for an Intervention

When grief takes over every aspect of a person’s life and shows no signs of subsiding, friends and family need to step in. Here’s when a professionally organized mental health intervention might be necessary:

  1. The person’s physical health is deteriorating.
  2. They’re neglecting personal responsibilities and relationships.
  3. They’re abusing drugs or alcohol to cope.
  4. They show signs of severe depression or suicidal ideation.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Interventionist

If your loved one struggles with complex grief, their actions might start to seem increasingly erratic and unpredictable. Despite your best efforts to offer them help, they might react defensively, even showing hostility toward any recommendations to get treatment.

At Whitman Recovery Service, we understand the gravity of this situation. Our team collaborates closely with an advising psychiatrist to ensure we provide the best care. We recognize the importance of each individual and leverage every available resource to ensure a seamless and successful healing process. Consider the following benefits of working with us.

  • Expertise: A professional has the knowledge and experience to navigate the complexities of grief and its associated emotions.
  • Objectivity: An outsider’s perspective can keep a mental health intervention productive, ensuring it doesn’t devolve into blame or conflict.
  • Guidance: An interventionist can guide family and friends on how best to approach their loved one, ensuring a safe and supportive environment.
  • Resources: Post-intervention, a professional can recommend appropriate therapists, counselors or grief support groups tailored to your loved one’s needs.

Recognizing and Addressing Complex Grief

While grief is a natural reaction to loss, it’s crucial to recognize when it becomes a debilitating issue. By understanding the signs of complex grief and seeking professional help when necessary, friends and family can help their loved ones find a path to healing.

At Whitman Recovery Service, we’re here to guide you through these challenging moments. If someone close to your heart has lost control of their life, request help today.