Coping with Loss: Grief Counseling and Mental Health Recovery

Coping with loss often requires grief counseling and support for mental health recovery. We Level Up Washington is here to help.

Coping with loss is an experience everyone will have to go through at some point in their lives. Whether you are mourning someone passing away, your lost opportunities, or the passing of life, the emotions will be strong and negative. 

Nothing prepares you for loss, and it can be an overwhelming experience. Your mental health might deteriorate, and your sense of direction and purpose might be lost. Some try dealing with it on their own and sadly develop more mental health issues. 

How you are coping with your loss is entirely your choice, but we urge you to look for support. In these moments of hopelessness, support is essential. A grief counselor or therapist can assist and guide you through these difficult times and ensure that, despite the loss, you find joy in life. We Level Up Washington explains how.

Understanding Grief and Its Impact

Grief is a natural response to loss, whether it´s death, divorce, or the loss of a job or home. People can grieve the loss of financial stability, youth, fertility, or good health. The American Psychological Association points out that intense grief can become life-threatening by affecting immunity, causing self-neglect, and triggering suicidal thoughts.

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Coping with loss is a different experience for everyone, and it has emotional, physical, and psychological expressions. You might feel sadness and hopelessness, or you might feel numb and isolated. Anxiety, anger, and panic are not unusual either. Sometimes guilt is also present if you feel you haven´t done enough or used the time in the best way. People can also feel guilty for feeling relief after someone passes away. 

On the behavioral plan, you might experience sleeping issues or appetite changes. Some people want to isolate themselves, while others want to be around people all the time. Fatigue, headaches, restlessness, an upset stomach, and tightness in your chest and throat are frequent physical sensations. 

Coping with loss is a unique combination of different sensations, and how are you coping with your loss is an individual and personal experience.

A woman crying while coping with loss.
Coping with loss can be an overwhelming experience.

Grief Counseling: What Is Coping with Loss?

What is coping with loss? It is not a simple question to answer. You might understand it as a set of responses but also strategies to overcome the overwhelming and sometimes impairing sensations you feel due to the loss. Those strategies may come naturally to you. Some people tend to lose themselves in home tasks, or work, or shift their attention to someone else they feel needs more help than them. Although functional, these strategies are often only an escape from dealing with how one truly feels.

In those situations, turning to others for support can bring better results. Outside support may come from friends and family, a priest or community, or a professional, like a grief counselor. An added benefit of relying on a counselor is that they can help you develop coping strategies to cope with loss and confront other challenging issues. 

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A grief counselor can effectively address:

  1. Anticipatory grief
  2. Disenfranchised grief
  3. Complicated grief

Anticipatory grief involves grieving before the loss actually occurs, for instance, when finding out that a loved one is terminally ill. A counselor can help you refocus, so you don´t lose precious moments with the ones you care about.

Disenfranchised or hidden grief refers to grief society does not validate, like loss of health or adoption that didn´t go through. A counselor can help validate and destigmatize your feelings.

Finally, complicated grief is prolonged grief that creates trouble with your daily routine and can cause depression. This is where the role of a grief counselor is most obvious.  

How are you coping with your loss is your choice, but keep in mind that you don´t have to do it alone. Seeking help while grieving can undoubtedly help

Coping with loss is not easy, but it is something a person needs to address to avoid unresolved grief and mental disorders that might emerge from it. The risk is highest for depression, as grief involves emotions of sadness and pain. Additionally, in the 5-stage model of grieving, depression is the fourth stage that involves the experience of intense sorrow, and a person can get stuck at that stage. 

Anxiety is another common occurrence while grieving. Often, after a loss, a person can feel fear and worry about their own health and well-being or about their loved ones. If those feelings are not properly addressed but rather left to linger, anxiety disorder might occur. 

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Some people might turn to alcohol or drugs while coping with loss. These substances bring short-term relief, numbness, and escape from reality, but long-term use can increase negative feelings or lead to substance abuse disorders. As a loss is a form of trauma, some people experience trauma disorders. Grief can, therefore, be a common denominator for PTSD and addiction.

When choosing how to cope with your loss, keep in mind those co-occurring mental states, and seek help from institutions like We Level Up Washington, who can assist you with dual diagnosis treatments and address the co-occurrence of grief and any mental health issues, including substance use disorders.

Two people hugging.
What is coping with loss is a question with many answers.

Inpatient Mental Health Services for Grieving Individuals

If grieving becomes overwhelming or coping with loss on your own results in comorbid states, like substance abuse disorders or other mental health issues, seeking professional help and support becomes indispensable. You will want to look for inpatient mental health services in Washington, as they can assist you best. While being a part of the We Level Up Washington inpatient program, you would receive medical assistance if needed and work on your sorrow in a place of peace and tranquility, all under our professional staff’s watchful and caring eyes.

We pay special attention to our clients’ individual circumstances and needs, so you can expect comprehensive and personalized treatment. Moreover, our supportive services extend to your family and time after you leave our facilities, as we have family and alumni programs that are there to support your recovery in the long run.

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Specialized Treatment Services in Washington

We Level Up Washington is more than just a recovery facility; we are a mental health center in Washington that can offer a variety of specialized treatment services focused on your mental health and well-being. Our holistic approach to your health means we take equal care of your body, mind, and spirit. 

Acknowledging disorders that can emerge from grieving, we offer trauma therapy in Washington. Our staff can assist you in dealing with a variety of traumas by relying on evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy or trauma-focused cognitive processing therapy. 

Our depression treatment center in Spokane WA can address your grief and sorrow when they become prolonged and overwhelming. Depression frequently accompanies grieving, and our attentive professionals can guide you through this difficult period.

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How are you coping with your loss? It is a choice that can lead to mental health issues or personal growth.

Personal Development and Recovery Coaching

We understand that grieving is an individual process and that coping with loss is different for everyone. While some benefit from grief counseling, others thrive under recovery coaching, and many opt for both in order to exit this stage of life with renewed hope. 

Recovery coaching aims to aid with personal development by focusing on creating an actionable plan, skill development, and mentorship that guide your personal growth. It helps deal with grief by providing focus and teaching you how to recognize your inner strengths. It is an empowering tool that helps you rebuild your life after a loss and gives you a sense of direction and purpose. 

How Are You Coping with Your Loss?

When coping with loss, every experience is different, and there is no one single way to address it. Many find it so difficult that in their efforts to deal with loss, they end up developing disorders and substance abuse problems. But when things become overwhelming, it´s important to remember you are not alone, and this can be only a phase in your life. We Level Up Washington is here to help with that.

Instead of wondering why me, coping with grief loss and change can help you focus on the future, life satisfaction, and personal growth. The recovery process can provide you with new life insights, help you find strength within yourself, and help you find a new purpose. Relying on professional help for that will make this process easier and filled with hope. Grief counseling and mental health services are the aid you need to overcome this life challenge and live your best life.

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Begin with a free call to a behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

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American Psychological Association. “Grief: Coping with the Loss of Your Loved One.”, 1 Jan. 2020,

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