What is Grief?

Grief is a normal response to loss in everyday life, or following a disaster or other traumatic event.  We may experience loss of control, loss of income or a job, or loss of connection with family and friends. Grief can happen in response to the death of a loved one, as well as to drastic changes to daily routines and ways of life that usually bring us comfort and a feeling of stability. Fear and a sense of being overwhelmed may contribute to a person’s sense of grief.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a great deal of grief for individuals who have been unable to be with a loved one when they die or unable to mourn someone’s death in-person with friends and family.

Other life circumstances may contribute to a person feeling a sense of grief, including unemployment or financial difficulty, a breakup or betrayal, or other changes in their lifestyle. Prolonged grief can delay a person’s ability to adapt, heal from physical and emotional wounds, and recover.

What are the symptoms of Grief?

If you’re struggling with grief, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Shock, disbelief, or denial
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Anger
  • Periods of sadness
  • Loss of sleep and loss of appetite

Adolescents may experience grief in similar ways, and may also see significant changes in their sleep patterns. They may isolate themselves more, frequently appear irritable or frustrated, withdraw from usual activities, or become more reliant on technology (screen time).

Treating Grief:

To help cope with grief or overcome a sense of grief, a person can seek out grief counseling or mental health services, support groups, or hotlines. 

Here are a few other ways to cope with grief:

  • Establishing a routine can help you maintain a sense of order in your daily life, which can aid emotional stability
  • Seeking help from a professional is recommended if your grief becomes overwhelming or feels unmanageable
  • Talking with friends, family, or people you trust can provide some comfort, as well as seeking out online grief counseling groups

How can San Ysidro Health help?

If you are struggling with grief, we can help. Call or text (619) 662-4100 to schedule an appointment with one of our behavioral health providers.

To learn more about San Ysidro Health’s Behavioral Health Services department, click here.