Grief - Treatment
Mourning; Grieving; Bereavement
Family and friends can offer emotional support during the grieving process. Sometimes outside factors can affect the normal grieving process, and people might need help from:
The acute phase of grief usually lasts up to 2 months. Some milder symptoms may last for a year or longer. Psychological counseling may help a person who is unable to face the loss (absent grief reaction), or who has depression with grieving.
You can help the stress of grieving by joining a support group, where members share common experiences and problems.
It may take a year or longer to overcome strong feelings of grief, and to accept the loss.
Grief and loss can affect your overall health. It can lead to depression or excessive alcohol or drug use. Grief that lasts for more than two months and is severe enough to interfere with daily life may be a sign of more serious illness, such as major depression. Medication may be helpful.
Calling your health care provider:
Call your health care provider if:
- You can't deal with grief
- You are using excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol
- You become very depressed
- You have prolonged depression that interferes with your daily life
- Reviewed last on: 2/18/2010
- Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Michelle Benger Merrill, MD, Instructor in Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Powell AD. Grief, bereavement, and adjustment disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 38.
Kutner JS, Kilbourn KM. Bereavement: Addressing challenges faced by advanced cancer patients, their caregivers, and their physicians. Prim Care. 2009;36:825-844.
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