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October 12, 2023

Forgotten Symptoms of Grief and When to Reach Out for Help

by Ashleigh Weckesser, MSW, LCSW

Common symptoms of grief include intense sadness, denial, mood swings, exhaustion, anger, numbness, and rumination over what has been lost. In addition to these common symptoms there are some lesser known signs you or your loved ones are grieving and may need help processing the events preceding this grief.

Forgotten Symptoms of Grief

Inability to Eat

Loss of appetite and nausea can occur as a result of grief. Weight loss and inability to eat are signs that you should contact your medical provider.


Avoiding people and certain places is a way our mind tries to prevent us from experiencing negative emotion, however this can lead to isolation which can prolong the grieving process.


Trouble sleeping and lack of sleep can cause a host of negative consequences. Insomnia while grieving can be addressed if brought up to your provider.

Trouble Reintegrating

Attending work, social activities, and/or spiritual gatherings can be tough after a loss and can tie in with avoidance behaviors that can prolong grief.

Panic Attacks

Experiencing for the first time, or reoccurring, panic attacks can be a result of higher levels of anxiety following a loss/life change.

GI Concerns

Your medical provider should be informed of any lasting upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, as well as any other GI upsets.


Belief that you are feeling or seeing a loved one after they have passed is not uncommon, however may be a sign that you could use assistance processing the loss.

Decreased Trust in Others

Difficulty trusting others leading to isolative behaviors are a sign that your grief may be influencing unrelated decision making. Talking with a provider can help ensure your relationships are protected.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is not something you have to know how to do. To provide support and skills during this time, consider professional help with a behavioral health therapist.

To connect with Avance Care Behavioral Health, please call 919.874.5443.

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