Physical Symptoms of Grief: Understanding Psychosomatic Symptoms of Grief

psychosomatic grief
Category: recovery

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we recognize and support the multifaceted challenges our clients face, including grief. While many recognize grief as an emotional burden, fewer are aware of its tangible physical manifestations. In observation of Grief Awareness Day on Aug. 30, we want to highlight the profound impact grief can have on physical wellness, helping you recognize and address these psychosomatic symptoms.

The Body’s Reaction to Emotional Pain

At its core, grief is a powerful emotional response to loss. Additionally, this experience can trigger a host of physical symptoms, often termed “psychosomatic” – where the mind’s distress manifests as physical ailments.

  1. Fatigue and exhaustion: Emotional pain can be extremely tiring. The overwhelming weight of grief can lead to persistent feelings of tiredness, making it hard to complete daily tasks or even get out of bed.
  2. Headaches and migraines: Stress and anxiety from grief can induce headaches or exacerbate existing migraine conditions.
  3. Digestive problems: Grieving people may have stomachaches, nausea or appetite changes. Some might lose interest in eating, while others might turn to food for comfort.
  4. Muscle aches and joint pain: The physical tension from emotional distress can manifest in sore muscles and joints.
  5. Sleep disturbances: Insomnia, nightmares and inability to get a full night’s sleep are common psychosomatic grief symptoms. Sleep becomes elusive when loss is all you can think about.
  6. Breathlessness and chest pain: In some cases, you might feel tightness in your chest or shortness of breath, feelings often associated with anxiety.
  7. Increased susceptibility to illness: Grief can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, infections and other illnesses.
  8. Weight fluctuations: Grieving might lead to significant weight gain or loss due to changes in eating habits and metabolism.
  9. Heart palpitations: You may experience an increased heart rate or palpitations, again stemming from anxiety or stress.

Hospital-Based Healing at HVRC

At HVRC, we believe it’s equally essential to treat the physical and emotional manifestations of grief. At our ASAM Level 4 hospital, we incorporate methods to heal your mind and body, such as relaxation techniques, physical therapy and counseling.

As we commemorate Grief Awareness Day, it’s crucial to understand the physical symptoms it can cause, so you can better support yourself and your loved ones through trying times.

Remember, you’re not alone in your journey through grief. Our team at HVRC is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re grappling with emotional pain or its physical manifestations, contact us to help you find a path to recovery and healing.