Signs and Symptoms of Grief and Loss When to Seek Help

Experiencing the effects of bereavement can be overwhelming. Learn about the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual symptoms of grief and loss, and when it's important to seek professional help for complicated or prolonged grief. Support and resources are available for those who need it.

Signs and Symptoms of Grief and Loss When to Seek Help
Signs and Symptoms of Grief and Loss

The signs and symptoms of grief and loss, also known as the effects of bereavement, can be frightening. Many feel as if they are going crazy. These feelings may be experienced for months. For some, that experience complicated grief, it may last for years.

Physical Symptoms of Grieving:

Feelings of tiredness and fatigue


Chest Pain

Sore tired muscles

Stomach upset

Stress related ailments

Memory and Concentration problems

Emotional Symptoms of Grieving

Feelings of heaviness



Feelings of sadness and yearning


Feeling of Guilt



Social Symptoms

Feelings of detachment

Social isolation

Exhibiting behaviors that are not normal for you

Spiritual Symptoms

Questioning loss and pain

Prolonged or Complicated Grief signs and symptoms that are signals you need professional help:

Serious or persistent thoughts of or actual planning of suicide.

High anxiety that leaves you non-functional.

Depression- It’s normal to feel sad at the death of a loved one; but a complicated or prolonged bereavement may lead to true clinical depression.

How Grief Affects the Brain


For serious suicidal thoughts: get help immediately. Have a friend drive you to the hospital or dial 911.

For uncontrollable anxiety or clinical depression:  You will need professional help and possibly medication.

Other support systems: Online support groups and forums; Local support groups– especially useful for those who have lost a child, or with grief from suicide.

Everyday, I work with people that lose a family member. It does not matter if the family member is young or 100 years old. So many of my clients have been candid and shared such heart felt experiences, I am reminded of how resilient we are.

We are here to help you.

Share Your Sorrow and Write to Heal

Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. You will find a lot of different questions answered directly.