Anxiety And Depression After Losing a Loved One

Posted by Tirule's Mental Health Team on 4th Sep 2021

Anxiety And Depression After Losing a Loved One

Life is not a bed of roses. There are ups and downs and we all need to go through them to gain strength and experiences. That is what makes it challenging.

Losing a parent, sibling or friend is an experience we rather dread. It is difficult to cope with the loss of a loved one and it can put you into an unending spiral of depression, pain and anxiety but you are tougher and stronger than you think. All you need to do is go through the grieving process and learn how to cope with it. We understand it’s hard but you need to know that your loved one wouldn’t want to see you depressed and breaking over something that was out of your control.

To kick start your journey of recovery, you first need to understand the warning signs. These signs are the red flags that need attention or they might develop into long term mental issues.

Let’s take you through some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and bereavement to help you understand and spot them at the early stages:

1. Numbness: When someone you love leaves the world, you are left with a void that becomes difficult to bear. This void leaves your heart hollow and you become numb. You isolate yourself mentally and build a wall around you that is hard to break.

2. Unending sadness: You feel like there is absolutely nothing you can do to rise up again. You feel demotivated, detached and unhappy all the time. The memories of the person you’ve lost haunt you and it becomes increasingly difficult to move on with life.

3. Loss of appetite and feeling fatigued: Loss of appetite is the biggest warning sign of them all. You lose your will to eat or drink. Your hunger withdraws, as a result of which you get increasingly weak and feel tired all the time.

4. Feeling guilty for not doing enough: When you lose someone who was close to you, you feel like you could have done something more or spent more time with them. This happens especially if the loss is due to unnatural reasons. Your guilt increases and you keep revisiting all the negative instances, like the time you fought with them or were rude to them.

5. Crippling fear of losing more people in your life: The loss of a loved one is a big loss and it makes you feel like the world around you is crashing down. The fear of losing more people grips you and you don’t know the way out. You know you are going through hell and you know that there is no way you can do it again.

Grief happens to us all, but we need to rise up and condition our minds to become stronger. Push yourself out of your comfort zone each day, bit by bit, knowing that your loved one will be proud of your progression and the strength you will build in the process. Give yourself the boost you need, talk to yourself and hold yourself up. You can do this and we have few ways to help you out:

1. Talk to others: Talking to other people who have been through a similar situation to yours helps therefore, we would suggest for you try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You could also contact a support organisation such as Cruse Bereavement Care. 

2. Think about the good times: Think about the good memories you had with the person, and how amazing they were. If possible make an album in your smart phone, computer, tablet or buy a photo album holder and fill it with all the great memories you had with the decease.

3. Learn how to be happier: Read our page on How To Be Happier. It is full of simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and happier each day.

4. Learn a new hobby: Learn a new hobby for example, a new language, sports, cooking or anything you really enjoy and always wanted to do. This will help build your confidence and cope with what you're going through. 

5. Travel: Pack up your bags and explore some new cultures. Travel to a new country or even explore the country you’re living in for example travel to new cities, see new and exciting places.

As we explained earlier, when feeling depressed and anxious think about this, will the person who died feel happy seeing you sad, broken or dejected? If the answer comes back as no, then it’s time to make a change.

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