I Am Living

There is nothing abnormal about the pain, loneliness, and disruption that accompany grief, but there are some circumstances when you may be able to get professional help of some sort, from a doctor, psychologist, counsellor, therapist, minister, or community support service.

While the decision is ultimately yours, it is prudent to reach out for professional support if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • significant guilt over things you did/did not do or feel you should/should not have done;
  • thoughts of harming yourself or others, when these thoughts go beyond passive wishes that you were “better off dead” or could reunite with a loved one;
  • absence of people who can listen to you and take care of you;
  • extreme hopelessness, i.e., a feeling that no matter what you do, you will never be able to live a life worth living;
  • panic attacks, prolonged agitation, or depression (i.e., feeling depressed or “wound up” that persists for a period of time such as weeks, months;
  • new or persistent symptoms that are affecting your health and wellbeing;
  • extreme anger/rage that seems out of your control and leaves you estranged from others or plotting revenge for your loss;
  • continual impairment in the ability to work and/or perform routine tasks required for daily living such as caring for your children; and
  • abusing drugs or alcohol to cope with the loss.

While any of the above-mentioned conditions may be a temporary feature of normal grief and bereavement responses, their continued presence may indicate a problem that deserves attention from someone beyond your regular support system.