Dealing with Grief, Stress & Trauma

Dealing with the loss of a loved one, or feared loss of a loved one who is addicted to drugs or engaging in other high risk behavior, dealing with being the victim of sexual assault or a loved one who has been assaulted are all stressful situations.  There are no simple rules to when and how someone grieves or how one deals with such emotions.  The important thing IS to deal with them and help is available, whether you have a solid support group of friends and family or you elect to seek professional help. 
The following list of stages of grief came from a handout at a conference that I attended.  I apologize for not being able to credit it as the handout had no name on it and I don’t recall which class!  Recognizing the phases one goes through in grief may be helpful in handling personal grief or in helping friends or family through their journey.
People who have lost a loved one often ask when and how do they get over it.  The instructor used a phrase that stuck with me.  “We WORK through it, not GET OVER it.”  Hopefully you will never forget that loved one but will be able to work through the pain and get to a point where the good memories remain and the sorrow of the loss is in a place where you can move forward.  No simple answers.

Stages of Grief

    *Feeling of numbness
    *Belief of feeling deceased will return
    *Loss of appetite
    *Inconsistent behavior
    *Bargaining with God
    *Persistent dreams or nightmares
    *Inability to concentrate
    *Preoccupation without being able to identify with what

    *Provocative in fights
    *Sarcastic remarks
    *Anti-social behavior
    *Refusal to comply with rules

*Attempt to do good in order to restore the loss

*Decreased attention span
*Frequent crying
*Unkempt appearance
*Disinterest in activities
*Suicidal thoughts
*Withdrawal from friends
*Overeating or loss of appetite
*Oversleeping or inability to sleep

    *Dreams of deceased become less frequent
    *Joy and laughter return
    *Planning for future begins

RESOURCES:  Jennys Journey deals with addiction and loss.  Parents of Murdered Children deals with loss of a child via murder.   GRASP stands for grief recovery after substance passing (loss of a child from drug abuse).  Rape, Assault, Incest National Network has a nationwide list of related crisis