Bereavement as a Trigger for Hoarding and for Panic Attacks
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Virginia Sherborne MBACP (Accred.)
23rd June, 20120 Comments
Bereavement can be a hidden factor in many seemingly unrelated problems with mental well-being. For example, in a recent TV series on hoarding, it became clear that several sufferers had begun to hoard not long after losing a loved one. Hoarding is about holding on tightly to "stuff", things that can feel as though they will keep the person safe in the future, and which end up wrapping around the person as a kind of cocoon. Thinking about it in this way helps us understand that hoarding can be a natural reaction to a difficult bereavement; so, taking the step of seeking bereavement support at the beginning could preempt the development of this issue.
A tendency to panic attacks is another issue that can develop after a bereavement. When the processing of grief gets stuck or pushed to one side, the associated emotions can ‘hijack’ the bereaved person seemingly out of nowhere, being experienced as an anxiety attack. Hence bereavement counselling can help, not only with practical steps in dealing with attacks when they happen, but can also tackle the underlying bereavement issues and so lessen the likelihood of further panic attacks.
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