Has A Significant Loss Caused You Overwhelming Feelings of Grief?
Are you dealing with an overwhelming grief – a painful sadness that shows up when you slow down and keeps you up at night? In addition to sleep issues, are you experiencing changes in eating patterns, heightened anxiety, irritability or lethargy? Are you easily triggered, worried that you’re emotionally unstable or engaging in risky or self-medicating behaviors? Are you struggling to get through your days, finding it hard to concentrate, complete tasks or engage in activities that you once enjoyed? Do you feel isolated in your grief? Have you becomes fearful about the future as you try to make sense of your loss and your life now? Do you wish you could find a way to move past regrets and sadness, and know that you’re going to be okay?
While most people associate feelings of grief and loss with the death of a loved one, many other significant losses – such as parents getting divorced, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a pet, or a major move – can trigger a deep sadness. Losses force many people to question their identity as they try to make sense of who they are now that someone or something that added meaning to their lives is gone. And, it’s very common for young adults to feel isolated in grief. Grief is often a very lonely, confusing, and painful experience.
Many Young Adults Experience Grief
Feeling overwhelming grief after a significant loss is more common that you may think. Many young adults struggle with a painful sadness, however, because grief can be so overwhelming and isolating, the grief feelings are often not talked about. During the young adults years, people are also just starting to “come into themselves” – shaping who they will and want to be as adults. Significant losses can challenge the emergent sense of self and make many young adults wonder who they are now and seriously question what they’re doing with their life. It’s common to experience fear about the future and feel that there is no relief in sight. While grief affects everyone at various times and in varying forms, sometimes processing and healing from a loss can seem impossible. If you’re really struggling to move forward, therapy can be an extremely effective, safe, and supportive place to heal.
Therapy Can Help You Process And Heal From A Significant Loss
Therapy can be so helpful for young adults struggling with grief, and it can have a profoundly positive impact on your wellbeing in a relatively short period of time. Your BPS therapist can help you make sense of your experience and offer you support as you work through these painful feelings. Your therapist can also help you understand that what you’re experiencing is normal and that you are not alone.
We are often not given enough time to grieve in our culture. We are told to allot a certain amount of time to grieve and then it’s back to life as usual. Unfortunately, most of us need more than a few weeks or even a few months to process our loss and reduce our grief. Thankfully, therapy knows no time frame. Your therapist will give you a safe place to talk about your loss, really experience and understand your feelings and integrate your experience into who you are now and want to be in the future. Your therapist can also give you concrete tools to address the physical aspects of grief and help ensure that you’re using healthy methods to cope with these difficult feelings.
Even if you feel truly miserable right now, grieving gets easier. Although your feelings may never completely go away, it is possible to find a new normal and genuinely feel better. And, talking through painful emotions in therapy can make moving through the grieving process much easier.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I think that therapy could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.
This is your life and wellbeing. Processing your grief in healthy ways can prevent a host of long-term problems from occurring. Investing in your self through therapy now may also prevent you from developing unhealthy coping mechanisms or self-medicating behaviors, which many people turn to in an attempt to numb painful feelings. Unprocessed grief can also affect relationships and work or school performance or have a negative impact on your sense of self and your direction for the future.
Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with young adults struggling with grief and loss or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat young adults suffering from grief and whose personality is a good match for you. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.
If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.
I’m afraid that therapy will shine a light on all that is making me feel bad and I’ll feel even worse.
Talking can stir up a lot of emotions. However, pushing emotions aside won’t make them go away. Intense, unprocessed feelings will likely show up in another way, in another form – oftentimes through unhealthy coping mechanisms or destructive behaviors.
You may be surprised to learn that talking through your feelings and your experience with a trained therapist can make you feel much better. You can learn practical, concrete tools to manage difficult emotions and get through your day-to-day tasks with more ease. And, your BPS therapist will be there to support and guide you as you process your grief and integrate your loss into your life in healthy ways. Although you may never feel the way you did before you experienced this loss, with help you can develop a new normal and feel more equipped to deal with emotional challenges and feelings of sadness and loss in the future.
Therapy won’t help. It can’t bring what I lost back.
While it’s true that therapy cannot bring a loved one back or fully repair a loss, therapy can provide a safe space for you to remember and understand what it was that you lost and how to move on with your life. Your BPS therapist can help you process your feelings, learn to live with your loss, and reconnect to a sense of meaning in your life. Your therapist can support your healthy grieving process, help you move forward in a positive, integrated way, and help you find a new place of normalcy.
We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and with a therapist who has expertise working with young adults with grief and loss issues.