Physical Responses to Traumatic Grief
During the first six months to a year after a fatal crash, people who are grieving are vulnerable to physical illness. Physical complaints, aches, and illness are all common after a traumatic death. Your body’s immune system is working overtime, and you may feel worn out. This is your body’s reaction to the trauma you have experienced. You may have difficulty falling or staying asleep or constantly feel tired. You may also experience changes in your appetite. You may begin to eat less or skip meals or have a constant hunger and eat more often than normal. During this early period of grief, it’s
During grief you may be more susceptible to physical illness, reach out to your physician.
important to eat well and get plenty of rest. If the problems persist, see your primary physician to ensure you do not have a stress-related physical condition. Substance Use
Some people find the pain too difficult and may turn to alcohol or drugs to ease their pain. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to make the loss easier to bear. Both alcohol and drugs are likely to make the situation more difficult to cope with, because both may contribute to irrational thoughts and depressed moods. Depression after a traumatic death is common. You may need short-term medication prescribed by your doctor to help you cope with everyday stressors while grieving. If so, do not consider it a weakness.
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