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The Life-Changing Impact Of Unresolved Grief

There is perhaps nothing more difficult in life than dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Everyone expresses grief in their own way. Some internalise their emotions and become distant and depressed; others lash out and exhibit unpredictable, often self-destructive behavior.

Despite these wildly different reactions, there is one constant that applies to everyone suffering from unresolved grief, which is that grief and the undesirable behavior it inspires will continue until the source of the grief is confronted in an honest and productive way.

In addition to depression and self-destructive behavior, unresolved grief can also cause:

  • Cardiovascular Issues: People metaphorically say that they have a ‘broken heart’ after a loved one has passed. This term is more medically accurate than you might think as studies have shown that many people do have cardiovascular issues (ranging from as minor as mild angina to as serious as a heart attack) caused by a spouse, child, close friend or family member’s death.

  • Poor Work Performance: Grief has a way of making everything seem unimportant, which makes it hard to muster up the focus and enthusiasm needed to succeed in a workplace environment.

  • Unemployment: As you might expect, poor work performance can lead to unemployment.

  • Strained Relationships: Emotional stress, especially when compounded by the financial troubles brought on by unemployment, causes fights between couples and makes those struggling with a loss isolate themselves from friends and family.

  • Substance Abuse Relapse: Sudden grief often triggers addicts to relapse.

  • Complicated Grief: This condition describes a heightened state of grief; sufferers are still stuck experiencing long bouts of intensely painful emotions weeks or months or even years after the initial loss.

The first step to treating unresolved grief is simple – all you have to do is open yourself up to thinking about and talking about whoever has recently died. These thoughts and memories can be too painful to explore at first, but it’s just not healthy to ignore them indefinitely.

Once you’re comfortable with talking to yourself about your loss, you should strongly consider talking to a professional grief counselor about your loss, as this will help you understand the root causes of your emotions and move forward with a more informed and positive perspective.

Don’t let the loss of a loved one destroy your health and your happiness. A grieving period is appropriate and indeed, inevitable, but eventually it’s necessary to break that cycle and start living again. There’s no better way to honor those lost than to live well.

Authors Bio


Asma Rehman is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. If you're struggling in life, the Grief Recovery Center in Houston, is dedicated to helping you.

Her clinical experience has been in community settings including Bo’s Place, Depession and Bipolar Support Alliance, and psychiatric hospitals. She has experience in the areas of grief/loss, depression, anxiety, trauma, addictions, anger, stress, relationship issues, bipolar disorder and so on. Being in a diverse city such as Houston, she's helped many different faces. Plus, her multicultural background helps her connect with a variety of people.

You can find more information here via youtube or get in touch with Asma via Facebook

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