Meredith Naidorf, MD Psychiatrist in Private Practice New York, NY Grief is a reaction to loss Which invites the question…. Death Breakup End of any important relationship Realization a dream will never come true (infertility, fantasy about perfect parents) Early Loss coming up again later Emotions Thoughts Sixth Sense Experiences Physical Sensations Behaviors Loss may be something that happens to you, but grief is a process you go through There is no right or wrong way to grieve Grieving and not grieving can both change you Denial and the wish not to grieve There is no prescription, no right way, no wrong way Models that describe grievers Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Bowlby and Parkes Worden The 5 stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance Designed for grief over one’s own impending death It’s a cycle, not a straight line (or a vortex) Meant to be descriptive, not prescriptive Wish for the world to make sense again No one can tell you how to grieve Acceptance of your own process Listen to your needs and be kind to yourself Family and Friends Support Groups like AMF Therapy Are medications appropriate? Grief as a spiritual or religious journey Try to give yourself permission to feel however you feel right now Feeling sad (or any other emotion) now does not mean you will feel sad forever Engaging in the process will help you to come out on the other side Refusing to feel our feelings leaves us frozen in time with those difficult feelings we are scared to engage with Try not to judge yourself for feeling however you feel And if you do judge yourself, try to let that be without judging the judgment Ask yourself what you need right now, what would feel like the best self care Great if they’re supportive It’s ok if you don’t experience your friends or family as understanding– you don’t have to reach out if it makes you feel worse Just being around people who care about you may feel soothing. Connecting through your grief Letting yourself be known by people who want to support you Grief is not a contest You are not alone, others have had similar experiences Therapy is a special way of talking and listening that is helpful Many types Supportive Psychodynamic Mindfulness-based Mixed modality Different from friendship Can be transformational Is there a stigma? Grief and Depression are different It’s normal and healthy to feel sad over a loss You might want to consider meds if: Recurrent suicidal thoughts Mood/anxiety getting in the way of functioning over time Prolonged sleep/appetite/energy/concentration disturbances Meds and therapy are not mutually exclusive– they can work well together Grief can be a transformational experience Deeper relationship to self, other, the world Widen your awareness Meditation while grieving Yoga while grieving Grief is a reaction to loss that may be experienced in mind, body, and soul Each person’s grieving process, like each person, may have similarities and differences with others Ask yourself what you need most right now. Resources available include self-love and acceptance, drawing support from family and friends, support groups like AMF, psychotherapy, medication, spiritual practice Meredith Naidorf, MD (917) 880-7585 Thank you!