Symptoms of bereavement, grief and loss
Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect people in different ways and there’s no right or wrong way to feel.
Feelings may not be there all the time and powerful feelings may appear unexpectedly and it’s not always easy to recognise when bereavement, grief or loss are the reason you’re acting or feeling differently.
Other types of loss include the end of a relationship, losing a job or home.
Some of the most common symptoms include
- Shock and numbness – usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about ‘being in a daze’
- Overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
- Tiredness or exhaustion
- Anger towards the person you’ve lost or the reason for your loss
- Guilt – about feeling angry or something you said or didn’t say, or about not being able to stop a loved one dying
Things you can try to help
try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor – you could also contact a support organisation such as Cruse Bereavement Care or call: 0808 808 1677
try the 6 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope
find out about how to get to sleep if you’re struggling to sleep
consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website
- listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides
do not try to do everything at once – set small targets that you can easily achieve
do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better
try not to tell yourself that you’re alone – most people feel grief after a loss and support is available
- try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve grief – these can all contribute to poor mental health
You can find out more on the NHS website
Information from the NHS website is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0