advertisement

Grief and My Anxiety: 5 Years Later

April 11, 2024 Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez

I've found that grief and anxiety go together alongside the feelings of sadness, anger, regret, loneliness, and depression. However, in my education and throughout what I have learned, the relationship between grief and anxiety was not usually addressed.

But in experiencing anxiety and grief myself, I've learned that there isn't a one-size-fits-all way of coping when you experience a loss. There isn't a predictable pattern when overcoming grief. As a matter of fact, we all experience grief differently, and when anxiety is something that you regularly struggle with, this is something to consider as a factor in the grieving process. For instance, grief can trigger or worsen an anxiety disorder, and this may even result in prolonged grief.1

How I Have Coped with Grief and Anxiety

It has been about five years since my father passed away. When he was in the hospital, I remember constantly experiencing panic attacks. My anxiety was through the roof, and I always felt as though I couldn't quite gain any sort of control over anything that was happening. As such, I remember feeling continuously physically sick.

Immediately after he died, those thoughts, feelings, and emotions increased even further. While, with time, you expect that grief will subside, for a long time afterward, I felt constantly anxious. To this day, it is still something I occasionally struggle with when it comes to grieving. Other losses that I experienced afterward were associated with tremendous amounts of anxiety as well.

One of the reasons I felt I experienced anxiety during the death of my father was due to a lack of control. I felt like I couldn't control anything, from his illness to the timeline that we were looking at. Using techniques to stay grounded in the present, such as through the use of mindfulness, became vital. I knew I needed to focus not on what I couldn't control but on what I could control.

Throughout my process of anxiety and grief, I also found myself getting lost in memories. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, memories are a way to honor those you've lost. However, this can be problematic when there's anxiety associated with those memories.

My support system has been so important in the process of grief with anxiety, whether it is through grieving together or leaning on that person for support. Using mindfulness and deep breathing techniques helps me to stay focused on the moment and what I can control.

The process of grief is not simple, nor is it a process that exists without anxiety, especially when anxiety is something you already deal with.

How have you dealt with the grief and anxiety associated with it? Share your strategies in the comments below.

Source

  1. Shear, M. K., & Skritskaya, N. (2012b). Bereavement and anxiety. Current Psycchiatry Reports/Current Psychiatry Reports14(3), 169–175. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-012-0270-2

APA Reference
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2024, April 11). Grief and My Anxiety: 5 Years Later, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2024/4/grief-and-my-anxiety-5-years-later



Author: Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez

Leave a reply