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Grieving? Help is at hand

Sadness drains our energy and weakens our limbs.

Sadness drains our energy and weakens our limbs.

Published Apr 24, 2013


Grief is a natural, emotional response to losing something, or someone you care about deeply. The more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will be.

According to a press release from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), grief makes us suffer an array of emotions that we often feel will never ease or go away.

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“There are a range of emotions and reactions that people have to grief”, says psychiatrist Prof. Chris Szabo.

Sadness, anxiety, anger, irritability, tearfulness, and reduced appetite are all expected amongst other changes in functioning, while some people feel numb after a loss, like they are disconnected from the situation.

“There is no right or wrong way to grieve”, says Szabo.

If you have lost a loved one or know of someone who has, and you are looking for support, or how to help someone with the loss, then this is your opportunity. Sadag will be hosting a Facebook Friday live online chat on April 26.

Compassionate Friends Support Group Leader Shannon will be available at 1pm and psychologist Cornelia Swart at 7pm.


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Common symptoms of grief

* Shock and disbelief: If someone you love has died, you may keep expecting him or her to show up, even though you know he or she is gone.

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* Sadness: You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning or deep loneliness. You may also cry a lot, or feel emotionally unstable.

* Guilt: After a death, you may feel guilty for not doing something to prevent the death, even if there was nothing more you could have done.

* Anger: Even if the loss was nobody's fault, you may feel angry and resentful. If you lost a loved one, you may be angry with yourself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning you.

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* Fear: A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you now face alone.

* Physical symptoms: Grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss/gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.



If you're feeling like life isn't worth living, wish you had died with your loved one, blame yourself, feel numb and disconnected from others for more than a few weeks, or are unable to perform your normal daily activities, please seek help. Call Sadag on 0800 21 22 23 to speak to a counsellor and get help. Sadag ADAG is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm


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