Loss & Grief
While unresolved loss often has similar impacts of traumatic events there are some differences in both the symptoms experienced and the nature of the trauma/loss.
When you are suffering, on a daily basis, with the pain of a broken heart, there is one major question you need to ask yourself: Do I want to continue to suffer this pain for the rest of my life? Many people think this is the only option, and the fate they must endure forever. Many become accustomed to finding themselves in tears at odd moments throughout their days when they think of a love or relationship lost. Others believe that their loss has destroyed their happiness and sense of security, and now feel that they will be bitter and joyless forever. That is not the case. You have options that can move you out from under this cloud.
Below are more than 40 types of losses according to the Grief Recovery Method — an evidence-based approach to grief support and counseling, we are proud to be affiliated with and certified to offer at RISE & Shine Integrated Therapeutic Services.
The Stress Scale for Adults
Below you will find the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale for Adults. In keeping with what we have said above, we have purposefully not included any numerical rankings related to each event.
- Death of a spouse
- Marital separation
- Death of a close family member
- Personal injury or illness
- Dismissal from work
- Marital reconciliation
- Change in health of family member
- Sexual difficulties
- Gain a new family member
- Business readjustment
- Change in financial state
- Death of a close friend
- Change to different line of work
- Change in frequency of arguments
- Major mortgage
- Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
- Change in responsibilities at work
- Child leaving home
- Trouble with in-laws
- Outstanding personal achievement
- Spouse starts or stops work
- Begin or end school
- Change in living conditions
- Revision of personal habits
- Trouble with boss
- Change in working hours or conditions
- Change in residence
- Change in schools
- Change in recreation
- Change in church activities
- Change in social activities
- Minor mortgage or loan
- Change in sleeping habits
- Change in number of family reunions
- Change in eating habits
- Minor violation of law
- To this, we also feel that it is important to add: Loss of Trust, Loss of Approval, Loss of Safety, Loss of Faith and Loss of Control of my body
Please keep in mind that this list is far from complete in outlining the different issues that can relate to grief. In reality, this list is woefully inadequate, to say the least. It does not cover such events as sexual assault, domestic violence, runaway children or pet loss, to name but a very few grief causing events. Another major issue, that is not addressed, would anything associated with sexuality. By looking at specific situations with any number of grievers, this list could expand greatly.
The other problem with adapting such a list comes in that some of the items listed may be confusing when relating them to grief. Some events, such as marriage may bring to mind more memories of joy than pain. (In this case we need to remember that there is grief associated with changes from normal behavior patterns, of which there can be many in moving from “single” to “married.”) Likewise, this listing for “Christmas” might be better restated as “any holiday.”
The greatest value to this listing is in helping people understand that grief is not just about death. Stress and stressful events come in many packages, which is true for grief as well
According to the Grief Recovery Method the 5 most common signs of unresolved grief are:
- Difficulty concentrating / focusing
- Overwhelming urge to numb or disconnect with feelings
- Changes in sleep (too little or too much)
- Changes in appetite (too little or too much)
- Emotional highs and lows
As you probably have noticed these symptoms do overlap with the symptoms from unresolved traumatic events, however, there are some differences. Each person is unique so their symptoms will be as well.
Medical Trauma as a generalization is any physical or medical injury, shock to the body, medical procedure, illness, or treatment experience that requires immediate medical attention. Medical Trauma can be defined as “set of psychological and physiological responses of patients and their families to pain, injury, serious illness, medical procedures, and invasive or frightening treatment experiences”
These frightening experiences can both be relating to the invasive physical and emotional trauma undergoing the treatment procedure and/or the when the treatment procedure goes wrong through human error, there is treatment abuse or neglect, the client and family are not getting their needs met through the service they are receiving, or the treatment worsens the initial reason for receiving medical care creating a fear in getting medical treatment in the future.