BEREAVEMENT STRESS

Stress relief for symptoms brought about by both the loss and coping with the practicalities of bereavement.

Sadly, going through the process of losing a loved one is one of those things in life that we all have to experience at some time. Although it is a very difficult and painful period, there are things we could be doing to ease the symptoms of bereavement related stress.

Having an awareness of the symptoms and an understanding of how best to cope with them can reduce the impact of bereavement stress.

SYMPTOMS OF BEREAVEMENT RELATED STRESS

  • Poor sleeping pattern – You are unable to get to sleep, or you keep waking up during the night. Sometimes you wake up in the early hours, unable to go back to sleep but equally unable to get up and do anything positive. When it is time to get up you find yourself exhausted and listless all day – just looking forward to getting into bed at the end of the day.
  •  Tearfulness and oversensitivity – You feel like crying all the time and you cry at the slightest provocation. Crying can be healing, and is a natural way to relieve emotions and built up tension. However, excessive crying suggests uncontrolled stress, and needs to be addressed.
  • Lack of emotion – Trying to stay strong and in control and not crying enough can be as bad as crying too much, and also an indication of stress.
  • Restlessness and an inability to cope– You are unable to stay focussed on even the simplest tasks. Little things get forgotten or become major obstacles. You start things and can’t finish them.
  • Fear and Anxiety – Bereavement can produce awful feelings of fear that something bad might happen to you or the anxiety of not being able to protect those you love.
  • Preoccupied and distant – You become so preoccupied with thoughts of your loss that you become distant and unaware of things around you. You may even start to imagine seeing or talking to them.
  • Short Temper and Irritability – Everything starts to annoy you, and you find yourself snapping at the dog, the cat, the radio – even the most trivial things cause you to become extremely angry and irritable.
  • High blood pressure and nervousness – The body will try to cope by high levels of natural steroids, causing an increase in nervous symptoms like jumpiness and also an increase in blood pressure.
  • Decreased immunity – The stress response can have a big impact on the immune system, making you more easily susceptible to colds and other minor infections. Pre-existing problems such as arthritis may get worse and other chronic conditions like diabetes may flare up too.

Unpleasant as they may be, most of these are normal symptoms of bereavement, and we will all experience some of them. Unfortunately, if left, some of these symptoms result in medication being prescribed. We can help you ease some of these symptoms, helping you to cope better and stay stronger and healthier through this trying time.