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Apr 22, 2013
When to seek help from a grief counselor. . .
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Betty here: here is some general advice about when to seek help. If you think your friend is suffering from the symptoms below, perhaps she does need help. But the friendly shoulder to cry on that you are providing may be enough for her.

During the first few weeks you may be in shock. You might be numb and unable to cry. Or you may be unable to stop crying. These are normal symptoms. At first, family and friends are around and you are busy organising a funeral and settling financial affairs. There is so much to do. So many things to do that time goes by in a daze.

After the funeral when family have returned home is the time when you need a support group of close friends that you can ring when you are feeling low. They should be people who are reliable with bags full of empathy. Some people have their minister, others talk to their doctor. It is essential to have this back up. Some bereaved can't stay on their own for a few weeks. Others like their own space. You need some support and a friendly shoulder to cry on for the first few months.

Often that is all you will need.

When is help needed:

If weeping and lack of sleep stops you from seeing friends or having any quality of life at all.

If there are no calm, periods in the day when you are coping.

If you are reluctant to get out of bed or talk to friends.

If you are not eating, or if you are drinking too much.

If you are reluctant to go to your normal social groups or church and you are becoming isolated.

If any of the above apply to you, then consult your doctor and ask for a referral to a local grief counsellor.

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