Should You See a Grief Counsellor?
Every person experiences grief and loss in his or her own way. Whether or not you should see a grief counsellor depends on your current situation and state of mind following a loss. Below are eight things you may want to consider when determining if a scheduling an appointment with a grief counsellor is right for you.
Is your base level of depression far higher than it was before the death of your loved one? Is it persistent, even after months after a loss? Does the depression stop you from fully engaging in the world around you?
Have you turned to alcohol consumption or drug use after losing a loved one? Are bad habits like drinking, drug use, smoking, gambling, or even video games beginning to interfere with your life?
Do you have a support system for your grief? Are you already working with support groups and do you have friends and family that can help? If you are missing these support groups in your life or you do not have a desire to seek them out, then you may require a grief counsellor.
For weeks and months after the loss of a loved one, have you experienced extreme emotions? Have you felt extreme anxiety, anger, loneliness, or sadness? Do the emotions you experience come out in violent ways to the people around you? Do you have a hard time controlling your emotions or keeping a lid on your temper?
In the weeks and months after the loss of a loved one, have you considered suicide? Have you worked through how you might go about the act? If you are experiencing any kind of suicidal ideation, then you need a grief counsellor. Your health and wellbeing are valuable and important, and reaching out is absolutely worthwhile.
Are you experiencing several different major losses at the same time? Have you lost a loved one and seen major changes in your life? More often than not, compounded loss can leave us particularly vulnerable. If your day-to-day activities become taxed, then you may want to consider seeing a grief counsellor.
Loss of Self
Our sense of self is critical to living happy, full lives. A significant loss in our lives can throw our identity and sense of self into the wind, leaving us wondering who we are. A loss of self can be incredibly difficult for the person grieving and you should most certainly reach out for help if you are experiencing this.
Do you respond well to outside help? Will the trained expertise of a professional help you or will it just make it harder to grieve? Every person is different in this respect. Working with a grief counsellor can equip you with the tools needed to process your grief, recover from the loss, and move forward with life in a constructive way.