Personal loss is a tough road to travel, particularly when it involves a loved one. By and large, most of us experience this type of crisis at some time in our lives. In the process, we go through a form of grief called bereavement. This condition includes a range of emotions, from deep sadness to anger. When you feel you are not recovering from your sadness as expected, help is available through integrative psychiatry at MedPsych Integrated in Raleigh, NC.

What is Grief?

Grief relates to loss. But it is not just a single sad feeling. Instead, you suffer a collection of emotions, including guilt, regret, anger and yearning. At some times, you possibly feel surprised by your emotions’ mildness, maybe even blaming yourself for being “cold.” At others, you experience strong emotions that limit your functioning.

Potentially making these emotions even more confusing are the circumstances of your bereavement. Maybe you catch yourself mourning over an abusive relationship. Perhaps you feel a rush of relief when a loved one passes away from a terminal illness, such as cancer.

We often self-judge in our mourning. Some of us tell ourselves to “get over it already.” Others blame inward, feeling guilty for going forward in life or believing “It’s all my fault”. Many people seek to be with others when in emotional pain. Others isolate. There are a wide range feelings, behaviors and thoughts associated with these life struggles and none are right or wrong.

Two Styles and Five Stages of Grief

There are multiple types and phases of grief. The two styles are instrumental and intuitive. But most people inhabit a combination of these two styles during their bereavement.

Instrumental grieving uses a problem-solving approach. In this style, you attempt to control or minimize expression of your emotions. In intuitive grieving, you experience heavy emotion. You openly share your feelings, mentally revisit the lost connection and consider your own mortality. Neither of these types is better or worse than the other. How we individually deal with our loss simply depends on our personality, needs and other factors.

Five Stages of Grief

Although we each experience grief in our own way, there are five predictable stages of grief. Research proves these stages are universal in coping with loss. The five-stage model is the most accepted one in understanding this emotional experience.

The five stages of grief were first identified by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969. In many ways, the stages are also the symptoms of this emotional crisis. They are still accepted today by mental health professionals around the world as part of patient evaluation. These five stages include:

According to Kubler-Ross and modern re-evaluation of her beliefs, everyone goes through at least two of these stages. Sometimes people go forward in the stages, only to go back again and repeat some. Your sad emotions can fleet quickly or take years to work through on your own.

How Do I Recover from my Feelings of Loss?

As said before, grieving is unique to each individual. Hence the process takes place in your own time. Some work through their emotions and then get back to normal everyday life right away. While others linger in their emotional pain, only feeling better after a year or more. Still others slip into clinical depression triggered by their mourning.

Major depressive disorder is not a normal part of grieving. Instead, it is a psychiatric condition triggered by the emotions and struggles of bereavement. The primary difference between grieving and depression is that of joy. While a person is simply grieving a loss, they can still find momentary humor, enjoyment, laughter and other types of pleasure. In depression, pleasure is absent, along with motivation to do things you once enjoyed.

How Do I Know if I am Grieving or Suffer Clinical Depression?

Indeed, many people need help working through their period of mourning. It is also important to determine whether you suffer major depressive disorder as part of your bereavement. Through psychiatric care and other therapy, you better understand your emotions and where you stand in your loss.

MedPsych Integrated provides a broad range of psychiatric services, including treatment of grief and depression. Our caring professionals help you adjust to your life after loss. Sometimes this requires just talk therapy. For others suffering a mood disorder as part of their bereavement, it is important to gain a clear diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment for major depressive disorder includes one or more of the following services:

Dr. Nadia S. Meyer and her team of caring physician assistants look forward to meeting you as a new patient and helping you recover from your grief-related condition. Through integrative medical approaches and individualized Telepsychiatry, you can work past your bereavement and get back to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling daily life.

Call us to schedule your first appointment at 919-582-7272.