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Support for Grief & Loss

Grief & Loss

We all need guidance sometimes to focus on self-care and others. Karner Psychological Associates is here for you, with our team of doctoral-level psychologists, clinical social workers, therapists, licensed mental health counselors, and other professional clinicians. We see people of all ages, including children, teens, and families. Karner Psychological Associates is a long-established outpatient mental health practice, serving the Capital District New York and larger tri-state area, that aims to provide patients with the highest quality therapeutic experience across a broad range of specialties. We are better together.

Support for Grief & Loss

What Is Grief? At What Point Does Grieving Become Unhealthy or Abnormal?

Grief is the natural response to loss, whether it be the death of a loved one, losing a job, or even ending a relationship. It is a complex process that involves emotional, physical, and behavioral reactions to the loss experienced. Some common feelings associated with grief include sadness, anger, guilt, loneliness, and confusion.

But at what point does grieving become unhealthy or abnormal? When should you seek help from a therapist or consider counseling? These are important questions to address in order to understand the difference between normal grief and potential complications.

Grief is a unique experience for each individual, and there is no set timeline for how long it will last. However, there are some general characteristics that can help differentiate between normal grief and unhealthy grieving.

Normal grief typically involves a wide range of emotions and reactions, but they tend to lessen in intensity over time. A person may have good days and bad days, but eventually, they are able to accept the loss and move forward with their life. On the other hand, unhealthy or complicated grief is characterized by intense and persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness that do not improve over time. This can lead to difficulties in daily functioning, strained relationships, and even physical health problems.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms for an extended period of time after a loss, it may be a sign that your grieving process has become unhealthy and professional help may be beneficial:

- Persistent feelings of intense sadness, hopelessness, or despair
- Difficulty performing daily tasks and responsibilities
- Isolating yourself from others and avoiding social interactions
- Inability to find pleasure in activities that previously brought joy
- Consistent thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- Substance abuse or other destructive behaviors as a coping mechanism

It's important to remember that there is no shame in seeking professional help for unhealthy grieving. In fact, talking to a therapist or counselor can be incredibly beneficial in processing your loss and finding healthy ways to cope.

A therapist or counselor can provide a safe space for you to express your emotions and work through any underlying issues that may be complicating your grief. They can also offer valuable coping strategies and support as you navigate through the grieving process.

If you or a loved one is struggling with unhealthy grieving, know that help is available. You do not have to go through this difficult time alone. Seeking professional help does not mean you are weak or incapable of handling your grief on your own. It simply means that you recognize the need for support and are taking steps towards healing.

Contact Karner Psychological Associates today to learn more about our grief counseling services and find the support you need during this difficult time. Remember, you deserve to find peace and comfort in the midst of your loss.

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