5 Ways Grief Changes People

a person working through grief

Grief is unique to each person when affected by it.

Whether it is the way that a person uses to process their grief or the time in which they use to process it.

Grief can manifest in various ways in a grieving person's life and these changes occur on a physical or psychological level.

There are ways in which grief can change a person. Grief can make us have an identity crisis where we start to question who we are.

It may cause us to become socially withdrawn from our loved ones and the outside world for various reasons.

Grief can also lead to decreased productivity in people going through it.

Read the rest of this article to find out more ways grief changes people.

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Identity Crisis

Most of the time the loss of a loved one shakes the foundation of who we have built and come to see ourselves as.

Before the loss, we may have seen ourselves as the doting mother or the amazing lover, maybe the best grandfather or the loveliest sibling.

These were aspects of ourselves we identified as and were happy with.

Loss unfortunately shatters aspects of our identities.

It takes away our sense of self or removes some purpose we thought we had when our loved ones were still around.

With the loss, the doting mother, the amazing lover, and the best grandfather will be in pain as a person who helped them identify with some identity is gone.

This byproduct of grief has sent a lot of people into emotional whirlpools that they have to endure as they try to reconcile with the turbulent emotions they are dealing with.

Our struggles with grief will eventually change our sense of identity as we try to fill the sinking hole left by the loss experienced.

It may be a struggle, but we can draw strength from the awesome memories of loved ones that we shared with them while they were still around to help us when we find ourselves with an identity crisis during grief.

Decrease in Productivity

Grief is a relentless virus that will stop at nothing to take over every aspect of a person's life.

It spreads aggressively and leaves a person in a worse condition than they were prior.

Sometimes it leaves people in the worst condition they have ever found themselves in. A decrease in productivity is one of how grief changes people.

A person in grief is a person who is in a constant state of replaying the pain they have experienced from a loss.

Everything else in the life of a grieving person seems tiresome.

In a state of grief, a person's favorite food could taste like an old towel.

A favorite activity could have no value anymore to such a person.

Even relating with other loved ones could be a chore.

With grief comes anxiety and with that comes stress.

Both are effective agents that help in limiting the productivity of a person.

Grief changes people by draining them of their joy and replacing it with a sinking feeling of pain and confusion.

The consequences of a muddled-up mind sooner or later find their way to the physical body and the combo is not one known to be good for productivity levels.

Good healing from grief is necessary for a person to get back to good productivity levels.

Mental Fortitude

The ways grief changes people are not all negative.

When grief comes it makes a person feel weak for having no control over what has happened.

It brings pain and confusion that can send a person down a dark nihilistic rabbit hole where they see nothing else but the grief that they are experiencing.

The tumultuous journey through grief will dull all senses and a person may never be the same again if they don't find a way to shake off the feeling.

For many, it is after dealing with grief that they come to realize how strong they can get.

The mental fortitude which comes when and after healing from grief is something of a silver lining from very dark clouds.

With such mental fortitude, a person can give a helping hand to people around them who are still struggling with grief in the present or who may be in the future.

While not easy, we must remind ourselves of what lost loved ones would have wanted for us and draw strength from the acceptance that they would have only wanted us to heal and not dwell on and be defeated by our grief.

Many accounts by people who have grieved will confirm this, with many similar tales about how grief changes people as they somehow find an inner strength they never knew they had.

An inner strength that all will say helped them at that moment and subsequently in life.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Holly Bradbury, LPC

Holly Bradbury, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(720) 710-0919
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Jasleen Karir, SWC

Jasleen Karir, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Anxiety

The development of anxiety or increased anxiety is one of the ways grief changes people.

The loss of a loved one especially in cases where such loss is unexpected can bring on feelings of anxiety over the progression someone's life is about to take.

This feeling is very common among children as they mostly have not dealt with the concepts of death and loss.

The change in everyday life caused by the eternal absence of a loved one will manifest in different forms.

There are also symptoms of anxiety which can be seen as constant fatigue, foggy cognitive functions, a sense of dread, etc.

Grief changes people for the worse with the aid of anxiety.

It is why practices that help are advised.

Therapy, support groups, and even talking to a loved one are possible solutions to explore.

Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal affects lives and changes the lives of people in grief.

During grief, a person is on a different wavelength from others.

Jokes are not funny, conversations are not interesting, and being around others when grieving can make someone seem like a downer.

In some cases, people in grief stay away from other people because they do not want the constant condolences which remind them over and over again of the loss they've experienced.

It could be that they can sense people are walking on eggshells around them even though they would like them to act normal.

It could also be one thinks going to places and doing things with people is a form of disrespect to their lost loved ones.

Whatever the rationale behind it, social withdrawal is not advised for people in grief.

Sometimes being around loved ones or doing other activities can be a form of healthy healing during grief.

Conclusion

Grief can change people in a lot of ways.

Grief can change people by giving them an identity crisis, introducing anxiety into their lives, reducing their productivity, and causing them to socially withdraw.

The ways grief changes people in both good and bad ways - although mostly bad.

One good change is that it can strengthen the mental fortitude of a person afterward.

We have little control over where and how misfortune may fall on the ones we hold most dear but before it does and if it does, it is important to never let grief consume us to a point that we become shadows of ourselves. 

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July 14th, 2024

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