How To Get The Help That You Need

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When we grieve the loss of something or someone dear to us, we may feel like no one in the world understands what we are going through. To an extent, that is true. Being unique in all the world also means that we handle our emotions uniquely in all the world.

So, how can you and I get the help that we need?

(1) Use your support system to find resources for grief recovery. If your deceased loved one had been in the hospital or on Hospice, such a medical community has grief support groups in place for times when we think we are stuck. Talk frankly to your health care provider about your grief. Seek out a minister or counselor or friend who has dealt with grief issues successfully.

(2) Depending on whether you suffer from situational depression after a loss or ongoing chemical depression during a loss makes a big difference as to how one’s complicated grief is treated. As one who suffers from chemical depression, I have just accepted the fact that I will be on some kind of antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs for the rest of my life!

I have been uneasy with what seems to be almost blanket disapproval of medication by some support groups, psychologists, and counselors. We, as counselees, are encouraged to cry, scream, beat on pillows, journal, or whatever it takes to deal with our grief. Each must grieve in one’s own way, and that is okay, we are told. But, if one must take medication, there is a subtle, and often not so subtle, message that we are not grieving properly.

As cautious as some doctors are in dispensing medication for the mind, some doctors may be too quick to prescribe. Caution must be exercised in deciding whether or not medications are needed. Most grieving people require no medication. However, without medication, some will undergo much unnecessary pain, and a few may not survive.

I have found it useful to think of depression in two categories: Situational Depression (SD) and Chemical Depression (CD). Most people with SD do very well without medication. On the other hand, CD usually requires medication as part of its treatment plan.

The prevalence rate for complicated (stuck) grief is about one or two out of every ten grieving people. Add to that the fact that approximately 2.5 million people die yearly in the United States. Estimates suggest each death leaves an average of five people bereaved, suggesting that more than 1 million people per year are expected to develop complicated grief in the United States.

My dear friend — you are NOT alone in this unless you choose to be! GET the help that you need!

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Doug Greenway

These blog articles are written by the retired minister and former educator and counselor, Doug Greenway. He'd love to hear from you with your comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You may reach Doug at

1 thought on “How To Get The Help That You Need”

  1. I’m trying so hard but if so difficult watching mama go through losing another son and me another brother. Lord I don’t know how much more I can take. Being a caregiver for her I want to help her and don’t know how. She cries all the time and of course I cry with her. She has a heart that is broken and I don’t know how to help her. Bro Doug you were there for us when I lost my son and for that I will never forget that. Thank you. Please just help me find the strength I need to help her. I’m so scared something is going to happen to her and her grieving.


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