Often when we grieve we can feel very exposed and vulnerable to those around us and to our environment. This experience can be new for many individuals and as a result can intensify our fears and worries. Our level of stress increases and we find ourselves becoming anxious about everyday events that normally would not impact us with the flight or fight response….minor circumstances and events can feel like major disasters, leaving us feeling very out of control and insecure (and very unlike ourselves).
Anxiety can feel crippling as we begin to worry about worrying. The balance between emotional and realistic fears becomes blurred, creating one huge ball of anxious messages from the brain that becomes exhausting to live with. The nervous system works overtime, heart rate and blood pressure may go up, sweating may become apparent and the muscles tense up. Other symptoms include:
- Inability to sleep
- Feelings of fear without knowing the reason why
- Sense of panic
- Sense of losing control
- Difficulty concentrating
- Flash backs to traumatic events
Combined with grief, anxiety can feel like it is debilitating and never ending. While it is normal to have anxiety during grief, the good news is that anxiety is treatable and manageable with a range of coping techniques available through talking to a counsellor and working on self help treatments.
If you are experiencing anxiety within your grief please know there is an end to that sense of helplessness, it just takes you to make that call to a health professional for guidance.