Time to see your GP


This morning I sat with a friend who is going through an incredibly difficult season in his life. While no people have died in his world recently, a ton of dreams, familiarities and hopes have. Who he has always been seems to be challenged to the core - a journey I too have been walking for the past 10 months. We sat and chatted for a long time. We began to discuss the possible need for him to see a medical doctor to assist him in some of the areas in which he was struggling. I encouraged him emphatically to do so as soon as possible.

When an individual experiences grief it is usually far more than an emotional experience. Grief is inside you and it has to come out.

It arrives uninvited and intensifies at unexpected moments. It is an ache that is deep inside that often leaks out through the eyes.

People feel grief, it is in them and this makes the journey all the more difficult.

However, this in and of itself, does not make you 'sick' per se, but it can cause physical challenges that require medical support and assistance.

An example could be a prolonged period of poor sleep that begins to affect you physically, not just in tiredness. Perhaps it is that your sadness is so overwhelming that some medicines would be incredibly advantageous to get you through a tough season. Whatever the challenge, your GP is a great spot to begin your journey in getting support and assistance to walk with your grief.

The online medical site WebMD (http://www.webmd.com) suggests an individual should see their General Practitioner if:

  • You feel hopeless and detached for more than a couple of weeks.
  • You cannot stop yourself from thinking about death or suicide.
  • You have a sudden change in your behaviour that concerns you, such as drinking more  alcohol than you normally do.
  • You have been grieving longer than you think is good for you.
  • Someone you know has symptoms of depression. These symptoms include feeling sad and hopeless or losing interest in most daily activities.

I have never known anyone that I have worked with to regret the decision to seek out medical support from their GP.

In fact, they are usually quite thankful they did; thankful that a friend encouraged them to, thankful that someone took them along and gave them strength to get the help required.

The impact of grief manifests in so many different ways and that is all natural and ok. However, if these are becoming overwhelming and unmanageable then please, please see your doctor.

By Steve Morrison