Understanding Grief and Loss
Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss. College students can experience many losses, from the death of a loved one to the loss of a significant relationship. Other losses can occur as students experience change.
Symptoms of Grief and Loss
- denial, shock, numbness
- emotional release, such as crying
- reactive depression, which includes feeling loneliness, isolation, hopelessness, panic, overwhelmed, confusion, fear, remorse, regret, and anger
- physical ailments such as headaches, colds, nausea, and hypertension often increase
Helping Others with Grief and Loss
Individuals that are grieving can benefit from the support of others. Some guidelines for helping someone who is grieving are:
- Take some kind of action - a phone call, a card, a hug, attend the funeral - offer specific help.
- Be available - allow the grieved time to talk without being judgmental.
- Be a good listener - avoid telling them what to do or feel or using clichés such as "You have to move on," "It's really the best thing."
- Be patient - grievers have to talk to heal and, many times, it is easy to be impatient.
- Encourage them to take care of themselves.
- Accept your own limitations - some situations are hard to handle and may require professional assistance.
If you or someone you know is experiencing grief or loss and needs professional assistance, please call Counseling and Career Services (256-782-5475) or a local mental health center for an appointment.
Courtesy of University of Alabama
Anxiety and Panic Disorders
Communication in Relationships
Depression, Recognizing and Coping
Grief and Loss
Adjusting to College
Making the Most of the First Year