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Loss is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as “the fact or process of losing something or someone.”

Loss is a normal and unavoidable part of being human, and grief is an emotion that is caused by loss. The Mayo Clinic explains “Grief is a strong, sometimes, overwhelming emotion for people.” The more significant the loss, the more intensely grief is experienced. Examples of losses that may result in grief could include diminishing health, romantic breakup, moving, divorce, and/ or death of a loved one. Grief affects the human limbic system by disrupting certain brain chemicals (e.g., serotonin and dopamine). Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with one’s reward center and feelings of pleasure. Serotonin is known as one of the chemicals responsible for maintaining one’s mood balance. Grief will manifest in each person differently, as there is no single way to grieve. It is important to note that experiencing grief after a loss is healthy and natural. 

Treatment

Although experiencing loss and grief are inevitable when they occur their inevitability does not necessarily make navigating them any less difficult or less complicated. 

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), there is mention of a specific disorder, known as persistent complex bereavement disorder, which is described as an individual who experiences intense symptoms of debilitating grief that does not dissipate in the months following the loss and lasts beyond twelve months. Anyone struggling to cope with grief and loss can pursue treatment. Some individuals may benefit from inpatient, intensive care, while others may never need emergency care or hospitalization. Regardless, to be effective, the treatment process for grief and loss must consist of a customized treatment plan that is specifically tailored to an individual’s circumstance and nuanced emotional needs. Treatment plans could include a combination of different therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy, and/ or interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Depending on the needs of the individual focusing on improving one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.) may also be integrated into one’s treatment plan to further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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