Going the distance

Recovery from loss

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. December 7, 2011

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

In comments on this blog, many have shared their stories of loss, disappointment and sadness. It's very clear that recovery is an ongoing journey and not simply a point in time.

There's no way to fast forward through grief. Grief is a necessary process. You can attempt to fill that emptiness with activities and things, but at some point grief rears its head and demands to be dealt with. It might manifest as chemical dependency, or other destructive or dysfunctional behaviors.

There's no set timetable, but in general after a year or two, you should see the return of joy and purposeful activities. If the feelings of heaviness and sadness are not slowly resolving, it's crucial to seek the input of a professional.

I do agree that if you can somehow marshal the energy to extend a hand to another it can lessen your burden.

Please weigh in with your own thoughts about how to deal with the painful realities of loss and grief.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

Dec. 07, 2011