The loss of a significant person or object in someone’s life is a high factor contributing to mental distress. Bereavement is the path that consists of grief and mourning to help overcome the trauma of a loved one passing away. However, everybody reacts differently to someone dying and have separate ways of dealing with the situation. Some sufferers can appear extremely angry or constantly upset, yet some people appear unaffected by the loss or unemotional. Depression is also a common process of bereavement and it is thought that people are particularly vulnerable to disorders such as depression if the loss occurred at a younger age. Certain dates such as birthdays or anniversaries will make the sadness and grief feel worse; however, as each year passes the sadness will lessen until the sufferer no longer feels they must hold onto the past.

If someone is bereaved it is usual for them to encounter strong emotional feelings of distress and grief. If you are around someone suffering from bereavement it is important for you to understand that the sufferer must grieve in order to accept the death otherwise they will find it extremely difficult to move on from the situation and get on with their life.


There are a number of common phases a sufferer goes through during their grieving period, but everyone is different and therefore everyone has different ways of dealing with the loss. The most common reaction sufferers experience is feeling completely frozen which can last for quite a long time in some cases. A deep feeling of longing for the person then takes the place of the numb feeling which sometimes brings emotions such as anger, sadness and guilt with it.

As time passes, the emotional pain eases and the sufferer will feel a little bit better with every new day. However it is important to realise that the feelings of loss may never completely disappear.

Everybody reacts differently to situations and therefore the help required depends on the sufferer and the experience they have been through. Individuals that have adjusted poorly to the loss will more than likely find it harder to cope and may need to see a doctor who might prescribe treatment. It is common for sufferers of bereavement to see a counsellor or therapist. This type of help allows the sufferer to talk over their feelings with a professional who can guide them through their grief stages offering comfort and reassurance.