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Grief and Anxiety

Grief and anxiety can be considered as two sides of one coin. There is a strong relationship between these two. Anxiety is known to be a complication of grief. In its most simplistic definition, anxiety is fear of something whether it’s real or imagined. Anxiety can be described as a sense of fear that’s sometimes experienced after a significant death or loss.

Grief is the emotional reaction to loss that’s sometimes fueled by anxiety. The most basic way of defining grief is that grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss.

Claire Bidwell-Smith suggested that anxiety should be the part of five stages of grief suggested by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Anxiety and grief are both emotional reactions to death or loss occurring within the mind. They are related in that they’re both controlled largely by your thoughts. Individuals with a syndrome known as complicated grief are more prone to experience symptoms of anxiety.

Grief and anxiety are related strongly as facing the loss of a beloved or losing something significant can put the person in a vulnerable place. Loss can result in individual worrying and panicking over little things, thinking about who else they might lose in their life.

Some people who experience grief will at some point also experience anxiety. Some people who experience anxiety may also see it manifest in physical symptoms that turn into panic attacks. It can feel as if you’re having a heart attack or that you’re dying.

Grief and anxiety are two powerful forces that come together to stall your road to emotional well-being after suffering a significant loss. Anxiety adds a different dimension or layer to ordinary grief thus complicating it making it more difficult to cope with.

In conclusion, some people dealing with anxiety after the death of a loved one may see a gradual lifting within a few weeks. For those who don’t, a trained grief counselor can help get you through the lowest points of your grief.

Sources: Understanding and coping with grief attacks Strategies for understanding and coping with grief panic attacks after a loss, By Audrey Carleton

• It’s ok that you’re not ok by Megan Devine (Pg 133-148) how to deal with grief and anxiety at the same time by Dr. Alejandra Vasquez, 7/2/2021 grief and anxiety a complete guide, written by optimist minds, Page last updated: 27/08/2022 grief and anxiety September 6, 2019, by Kathleen Smith

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