Signs of Unhealthy Grieving


Many people are likely to experience grief in their lives, whether it's because of death, the end of a relationship or an illness. While it is normal to grieve when something tragic happens, some people grieve in unhealthy ways. If your family member is not grieving in a healthy way, encourage him to seek counseling.

Absent Grief

  • Individuals who experience absent grief suppress their feelings of sadness. Instead of expressing their pain through tears, they keep their emotions bottled up. Those with absent grief are too scared to express their emotions because they think the pain will be too severe. Suppressing emotions adds unbearable stress to one's life.

Prolonged Grief

  • Individuals with prolonged grief can't move on with their lives, even though it has been at least a year since the loss. Their feelings of grief intensify, instead of subsiding. Often these individuals didn't have a chance to say the things they wanted to the person before she died.

Delayed Grief

  • Individuals with delayed grief may have felt nothing at the time of the loss. Instead of feeling depressed or angry, they went about their daily tasks. Then, sometime in the future, these individuals feel sudden grief. According to Sue E. Meiner, co-author of "Gerontologic Nursing" and a nurse practitioner, this sudden grief is "triggered by a subsequent, smaller loss or by another event that triggers sadness."

Exaggerated Grief

  • Individuals with exaggerated grief may feel only one emotion. Because a normal grieving process requires a variety of emotions, feeling just one is unhealthy. According to MediResource, these individuals are not comfortable sharing their feelings with others or they still have something they want to say to the deceased person.


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