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Coping with Grief

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Death and the resulting period of grief are natural processes. The survivor will get over it. Time heals all wound.

Death and the resulting period of grief are natural processes. The survivor will get over it. Time heals all wounds. The survivor's grief is seen as normal bereavement, a form of reactive depression that manifests itself in a variety of symptoms. But if sadness, insomnia, poor appetite and weight loss are still present two months after a loss, major depressive disorder is often diagnosed.

Unfortunately, a grieving person has to endure more than symptoms of depression. He or she frequently has to resolve or learn to live with guilt a feeling that she would be better off dead or that she should have also died. The person may experience a sense of worthlessness, functional impairments, hallucinations (voices, visions of the deceased) and, in some cases, a general slowing down of mental and physical activity. They also have to adapt to their new role and responsibilities, to resolve new fears, insecurities, anxieties and restlessness.

Coping with and overcoming bereavement is a complex process affecting the whole life.

Homeopathy and Diet

Probably the most effective help can be expected from a homeopathic remedy. This has to be done by a competent naturopathic physician or homeopath. Some of the most commonly prescribed homeopathic remedies for grief are: aurum, causticum, Cocculus indicus, cimicifuga, Natrum muriaticum, Phosphoric acid, Natrum phosphoricum, ignacea, pulsatila and staphosegria.

Food plays a substantial role in improving symptoms associated with bereavement. The most important factors to look out for are food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, food additives and pesticides. All of these can magnify or contribute to the development and persistence of grieving symptoms. Allergenic foods aggravate and weaken various organs' systems, like the digestive, immune and central nervous systems, in the body. In addition, they tend to deplete stress glands and have been linked to chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and an inability to adjust. Nutritional deficiencies lead to general depletion of resources in the body. They also lead to a reduction in the strength of the immune system and stress-coping abilities. The action of food additives and pesticides further aggravate and weaken the body all dramatically magnified by stress resulting from bereavement. Thus it's important to focus on the consumption of unprocessed, preferably organic foods.

Some of the main offending foods are: shellfish, chocolate, coffee (which causes adrenal depletion), alcohol, genetically engineered wheat, chicken and beef. Eliminate foods containing simple sugars or additives. (Avoid raw cold food in winter.)

Eat your meals in a relaxed atmosphere. Include variety. Experiment with various culinary herbs and spices like garlic, onions, ginger, tumeric, coriander, caraway seeds, oregano, basil these improve digestion, appetite and relax muscles of the internal organs.

Supplements and Herbs

Some frequently used supplements are 5-HTP, vitamin C and E, thiamine B1, niacin B3, pyridoxin B6, folic acid, B12, flax seeds, calcium, magnesium and melatonin if the levels are low. These may be taken in a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.

The following herbs have been effectively used to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia and nervous exhaustion: St John's wort alone, or in combination with 5-HTP helps with tension, anxiety and depression. Kava kava helps alleviate mental depression, sluggishness and confusion. Passion flower cures insomnia from worry and depression as well as restlessness and anxiety. Hops are great for calming the nerves. They also act as a sedative and soothe headaches. Those suffering from grief should drink plenty of water, go for long walks and seek out the company of others.

Difficulties resulting from losing someone are many. These suggestions will certainly help to improve your health and give a much needed boost when writing a new chapter in your life.

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