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Bereavement as a Trigger for Hoarding and for Panic Attacks

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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Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 2SE

Written by Virginia Sherborne

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 2SE

I am a qualified counsellor and Accredited member of the BACP, seeing clients at The Practice Rooms near the centre of Sheffield. I have specialist training in bereavement, rape/sexual abuse, trauma and parenting. My clients include young people as well as adults. I can help you to: find a safe...

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