Mental Health
How Long Does it Take to Heal After Losing a Loved One?

How Long Does it Take to Heal After Losing a Loved One?

As people, we are rational beings. We base our decisions and actions on current circumstances around us or the situation we are presiding in any given time.

When we accept someone in our personal space and let them take over our rational thought, in essence, we are attaching a part of that someone to ourselves, especially into our thought process. It is indeed a beautiful human emotional trait to love someone.

However, these wonderful feelings and emotions, including the memories associated with such experiences, have a tendency to take a turn for the worst when we are unwillingly separated from our loved ones, due to death or any other reason. And this could be anyone you hold in high esteem such as your parents or seniors, siblings, your girlfriend, or wife.

The idea of losing someone who has been a part of you for so long is unimaginably painful. Living with the fact and accepting that the person is no longer a part of you, or your life experiences can be an extremely heart-wrenching process, and as such, not everyone can handle this change positively.

The duration changes from person to person since us all work differently. However, it is believed that it takes around three months for an average person to get over the loss of a loved one. However, remember that we do not truly get over ever. We just learn to accept facts and live as normal. Additionally, the duration largely depends on the environment we live in. If others around us do not know how to behave around a person going through this experience, or what to say to a grieving person, things may be difficult.

However, certain people may have a difficult time dealing with such situations. People often react differently when they have to deal with the loss of a loved one. For instance:

1. Senior Citizens

According to our program, senior citizens find it much harder to overcome such a loss and hence take longer to recover from personal bereavement, due to their own personal experiences and mental state of mind.
This is mainly because they may already be in an emotionally fragile condition, and thus, absorbing the loss of an immediate family member or relative can take at least 6-8 months to recover. That too, if rigorous countermeasures are taken. Some of them to include:

● Distraction by other family members towards reliving old memories and reminiscing about the good times rather than bad times.
● Outdoor trips to places not seen before, particularly where one can enjoy new experiences.
● Encouragement into appreciating and cherishing time spent with current family members and showing gratitude, rather than continuing to grieve over the loss of those who have passed.

2. Drug Addicts and/or Psychiatric Patients

Alcoholics, drug addicts and people already suffering from mental disorders are more prone to going into depression after the loss of a loved one. This mindset can even lead them to suicide and self-inflicted harm as the person in question is not mentally fit to comprehend the repercussions of his/her actions. A common scenario in such a person causing harm to another family member due to their mental health.

The time it takes to recover, in this case, can be 5-7 months under proper supervision and counseling. Constant and highly positive emotional support should be given by family members at all times, while the recovering individual is kept away from all situations that may introduce negativity or lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

3. Medically Challenged

Grieving-person When people are on heavy medication for a serious ailment or disease, they tend to be more affected by the demise of someone they were very close to. If not addressed early, this can lead to dangerous outcomes such as a prescription medicine overdose in an attempt to deal with the depression and sense of loss. Also, such medication taken in high doses can cause a severe imbalance in the body’s hormonal system, which can have dire health consequences. Other side effects of overdosing on such medication while being in a state of shock and grievance can cause the brain to hallucinate, and a person often loses the ability to differentiate between illusion and reality.

The best way to get them the help they need and get their life in order is to consult a doctor who can prescribe medication. This provides them with immediate emotional relief to a certain degree, while you generously shower them with love, positivity, and affection. All of this is necessary so that those affected can get on the road to recovery in about 6 months or so.

The loss of someone close to you can be a challenging experience. Acceptance is the ultimate goal, however long that takes.

Asma Rehman

Asma Rehman

Asma Rehman is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. She has extensive experience in the areas of grief/loss, depression, anxiety, trauma, addictions, anger, stress, relationship issues, bipolar disorder. Her multicultural background helps her connect with a variety of people. Her passion for her work is evident as she rolls up her sleeves and gets in there with you.

Asma Rehman

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