Coping With Grief

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Coping With Grief by R. Murali Krishna, M.D.

R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA, noted and well respected Oklahoma City psychiatrist, has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole - From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. For more information visit http://www.drkrishna.com.

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Coping With Grief

  1. 1. Dr. R. Murali Krishna, M.D. President and COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health and James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit Coping With Grief www.drkrishna.com
  2. 2. We each experience loss from the moment of birth. Loss is part of life, and we must all must deal with it. When loss and grief come your way, what, exactly, will you be dealing with? Grief pains us deeply at many levels – physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual. You'll see the results most profoundly in your feelings, which may include anger, guilt, fear, despair, relief, shock, numbness, anxiety and overwhelming sadness. >Hopefully, your personal forecast calls for sunny days and sunny moods. >The reason is that medical studies have repeatedly confirmed that happiness contributes positively to a person’s health. Physically, you may experience tightness in the chest or throat, difficulty breathing, fatigue or trouble sleeping and eating, and medical research is finding grief make you more likely to develop heart problems, as well. Socially, you might find yourself withdrawn from others, or you might find yourself seeking others out in order to talk. Intellectually, your ability to focus on tasks may be diminished, and spiritually you may experience dramatic changes in or reinforcement of your beliefs. Coping With Grief www.drkrishna.com
  3. 3. It's not surprising, then, that losing a loved one is one of the most, if not the most, stressful event in a person's life. The stresses are so much that people in acute grief are hospitalized more often for major illnesses, have higher rates of job absenteeism and tardiness, are more prone to accidents and are more susceptible to abuses such as alcoholism and chemical dependency. How do you begin to cope with an event of such soul-tearing magnitude? To some degree, your ability to recover will depend on the circumstances of the loss. A sudden, unexpected death can color and extend your grief because you will have not had time to anticipate and prepare for impending loss. Adjusting to the loss of a child may take years, while for some the grief over the death of an elderly person with an incurable and painful illness might be softened by knowing that the person's suffering has ended. How you respond to loss also depends on your own life experiences, your support systems, how well-rounded your lifestyle has been, and the amount, degree and depth of your spiritual understanding. Coping With Grief www.drkrishna.com
  4. 4. Generally speaking, though, loss can be eased through several means. 1 Experience the pain 2 Talk to people 3 Ask for help 4 Watch your health 5 Explore your inner spirituality If you shut off your emotions or deny your feelings, you won't move through the phases of grief. If there is no one with whom you feel comfortable sharing, you may wish to keep a journal or write a letter to the person who has died. For many people, what helps most is to share their feelings. You need to be able to tell others your memories, anger, fears and sadness. If there is no one with whom you feel comfortable sharing, you may wish to keep a journal or write a letter to the person who has died. Sometimes joining a grief support group can be helpful, too. Your friends want to help but may be uncertain about how best to do so. It's OK to ask someone to make time to talk with you. Having someone transport your children, clean your house or do your grocery shopping allows you to spend time in more productive ways. If figuring out what people can do to help is too big of a task for you – and it may well be – then ask a close friend to take over that task. In the midst of grief, you may push aside basic health needs like exercise, a good diet and adequate rest. Each of these things affect your emotional state. It may be difficult to retain your normal healthy habits, but you should not ignore them. You may well be struggling with tough issues related to life, death and life hereafter. To come to a comfortable understanding on those issues and to help resolve your grief, this may be a good time to seek support from and conversation about spirituality with close friends or people in your church. Coping With Grief www.drkrishna.com
  5. 5. Finally, watch out for depression. Reactions to loss can create feelings and emotions similar to those experienced by people with depressive disorders. If your grief is extremely severe or long-lasting, you should talk to your physician or a counselor to make sure your grief has not transitioned into depression. Grief doesn't work in a logical way. There's no way of knowing how long you will be acutely affected, how long you will be distracted and unable to concentrate, how long until your heart quits aching. If your approach to life is to know what's coming and when it's going to come, you'll be challenged by the uncertain nature of grief. >Anyone who's experienced it knows that after an important relationship has been lost, life will never be the same. >Yet there are choices we can make about the rest of our life. >At one extreme, we can, in a sense, die along with the person we've lost. >We can become stuck in the shock, numbness and pain. The other choice is to go through the process of mourning, to arrive at a place in which we can let the person go. We can realize that in this time and space, the person we loved is gone, but that we must adapt to the loss, redefine our purpose and reconstruct our lives. Think of grief as a block of stone in a field. It can be a stumbling block, causing you to trip and lose your perspective and be a barrier to your progress. But it can also serve as a step, something which allows you to rise up and enlarge your perspective, giving you the opportunity to rededicate and re-energize your life. Either way, the stone is the same. It's what you choose to do with it that will decide your future levels of happiness and fulfillment. Coping With Grief www.drkrishna.com
  6. 6. About the Author R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA is a psychiatric expert and pioneer in mind, body, spirit connection. His study of the brain has given him insight to the why of mental health and the how of living a healthy, vibrant life. Dr. Krishna’s mental health knowledge and experience is valuable and unique not only because of his extensive study and research of brain function, but also because of his true empathy. He has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. R. Murali Krishna, MD, DLFAPA Co-Founder & President, James L. Hall, Jr Center for Mind, Body and Spirit President & COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health President, Oklahoma State Board of Health Founding President, Health Alliance for the Uninsured Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Univ. of OK Health Sciences Center Dr. Krishna, an inspiring and engaging speaker, educates his audiences on the latest science in mental health and the healing power of the mind, body, spirit medicine connection. He is often interviewed by television and print news organizations for his expert opinion on mental and emotional health issues. For more information visit www.drkrishna.com About the Book Dr. Krishna has recently published his first book, VIBRANT: To Heal and Be Whole From India to Oklahoma City which he coauthored with Kelly Dyer Fry, president of news at OPUBCO. In this book, Dr. Krishna shares his insights on human resilience and the power of living a vibrant life. He draws upon his own childhood experiences in India; coming to Oklahoma, his passion for helping people understand the importance of a mind, body, spirit connection; and his efforts to help people move forward following the tragic 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In this book Dr. Krishna reveals the secrets to living a vibrant life while overcoming: Anxiety Trauma Sleep dysfunction Stress Obesity Emotional dysfunction Depression Addiction Substance abuse Loss Anger Unresolved issues Relationship stress Mental illness Alcoholism www.drkrishna.com

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