Sometimes, the intense reactions and disruption associated with loss become a risk of harm during bereavement. Sleep and appetite disruption are very common. Too little or too much sleep for too long a time may create a risk of harm. Lack of appetite that becomes significant weight loss, and comfort eating that becomes over eating, may also become harmful.
Poor concentration can have dangerous consequences when accidents result. “Fender benders” while driving are well known to the bereaved, as are other mishaps. Limiting driving and other potentially dangerous activities until your usual attention and concentration returns is advised.
A very serious risk is when anger becomes violent. We may be surprised by spontaneous violent eruptions. Whether directed at others or our self, violence warrants immediate professional help.
Suicide is a serious risk during bereavement, though not a common one. Many people feel a desire to be with the one who died. Some lose the energy for life, and may not care if something were to occur to cause their death. These are common grief reactions. Thoughts of suicide accompanied by the intention and means to carry it out require immediate intervention. With professional help to work through the difficult feelings associated with loss, suicidal feelings subside and harm can be avoided.
If you experience anything that is or could be dangerous to you or someone else, professional help should be enlisted. The assistance of a knowledgeable professional can diminish your suffering and risk of harm, and facilitate a healthy progression through the painful grief and disruption.
Read more about Complications on the following pages.
Complications to Grief | Alcohol & Drugs | Conflicted Relationships | Multiple Losses | Risk of Harm | Stigmas and Traumas | More Reading