Understanding How Grief Can Impact You Long-Term

The emotions triggered by the death of a loved one can be wildly unpredictable. There are recognized stages of grief and typical responses that people may experience, but the reality is that coping with loss does not come easily to everyone. Sometimes, the weight of grief is so heavy that seeking mental health rehab is necessary.

What Are Your Stages of Grief?

After the loss of a loved one, most people don’t recognize that many of the emotions they are experiencing are part of grief. There are multiple grieving process models that delve deeply into the explanation of this emotional journey and attempt to fully encompass the range of emotions you’re experiencing. Here are three of the most common:

  • 5 stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
  • 4 phases of grief: Shock and numbness, yearning and searching, despair and disorganization, reorganization and recovery.
  • 7 stages of grief: Shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression and loneliness, the upward turn, reconstruction and working through, acceptance and hope.

There isn’t one right way to cope with grief and you may feel like you identify with one of these groupings more than another or not at all. Some people experience every stage fully, others consciously work their way through their feelings to process grief, while some stay stuck in one emotional area or regress before they progress again. No matter where you fall, it isn’t wrong, but what you’re feeling can catch you off-guard and leave you needing support to manage this kind of heartache and all its branches.

Types of Grief

Grief is far from simple. It is so complex that several disorders have been named to identify different types of grief. Some of these conditions lead to the kind of mental health crisis that calls for intensive inpatient therapy for healing.

  • Complicated grief: Prolonged grief is present when the symptoms are intense and carry on for more than six months since the death. A deep longing for the person who was lost can disrupt everyday life and make it difficult to function at work, school, or home.
  • Traumatic grief: If a loss has come about unexpectedly or violently, or the person lost was very young, grieving can be even more difficult to work through on your own.
  • Unresolved grief: Not facing the reality of grief right away, or struggling to do so thoroughly enough for your mental health, can lead to delayed grief that is experienced months and maybe even years later, often in an excessive response to another situation or loss.
  • Disenfranchised grief: If you struggle to discuss the death of the person or pet you loved to avoid looking like you’re too emotional, you may grieve silently and unsuccessfully, making the grief become far more complex.

If your feelings of grief or related emotions do not subside after several months or they interrupt your daily life and interfere with the healing process, it’s time to seek help. Normal grief improves over time. The loss is always present, but it becomes easier to cope with the absence of the person you love and return to your typical activities and obligations.

For people who experience complex grief and already have mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, grief can be a mental health crisis and potentially lead to complications like sleep troubles, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts.

Inpatient Therapy for Grief

It is impossible to predict how a person will react to the loss of a loved one or how their grief will manifest itself. If you are struggling to manage grief, this state of being is a mental health disorder – and it’s one you could never have predicted. Your environment, inherited traits, personality, unique chemical makeup, and, of course, the monumental loss of someone who meant so much to you, all contribute to your reactions.

There are times when people get stuck in their grieving process and cannot move forward without professional help. Through a holistic inpatient therapy program, you can navigate your grief successfully and gather the tools to manage your feelings now and as they evolve.

It is difficult enough to go through life missing someone – it is possible to find ways to remember them without losing yourself in the process. At Beachside Rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida, we are a clinically driven retreat with a structured program to help you find healing, wellness, and peace. Contact us to discuss inpatient and outpatient rehab, holistic recovery, and mental health treatment, all in a luxury retreat setting. Call today at 866-349-1770 to speak with a trained admissions counselor.


Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash