The loss of a loved one by suicide can result in a complicated emotional aftermath. As a consequence, frustration can be a significant part of the grieving process after a loved one’s suicide death. Through this we provide an overview of frustration and the death by suicide of a loved one. We also discuss how you can overcome frustration that may be interfering with your grieving process. These specific topics we address for your consideration:
- Definition of frustration
- Suicide grief and frustration
- Signs of frustration
- Grief and the vicious cycle of frustration
- Signs of frustrated grief
- Benefits of professional assistance
Definition of Frustration
The National Institute of Mental Health defines frustration as the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of an inability to change or achieve something. In defining frustration, the NIMH lists some synonyms to assist in better understanding the application of the term frustration:
Simply put, frustration is the emotional response to something not unfolding or occurring as desired or as it should. A resolution is prevented. This can occur during the grief process. A healthy completion of the grieving process is not at all likely.
Suicide Grief and Frustration
Frustration can exhibit itself or be experienced in a number of different ways when an individual is grieving the loss of a family member or friend by suicide. A survivor of suicide loss may be frustrated with the very fact that the loved one died in the first instance. A survivor may be frustrated with his or her self because that individual was incapable of preventing the suicide or because that person was not able to even recognize that a loved one was harboring suicidal ideations. A person might end up frustrated on a number of fronts when it comes to grieving the death of a loved one by suicide. In addition, over time a person can become frustrated in additional aspects of the grieving process.
A survivor of suicide loss might also become frustrated with the grief process itself. An individual experiencing frustration in this manner may become frustrated with a particular stage of grief, believing that he or she can’t work through that stage.
Signs of Frustration
Because emotions can be intense following the death of a loved one by suicide, a person might not be able to readily identify frustration. A person grieving this type of loss might confuse frustration with some other emotion.
With this in mind, there are some signs of frustration that can assist a person in ascertaining what is going on in his or her life. These include:
- Short temper
- Incessant body movement
- Gives up easily
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of self confidence
- Unexplained weight issues
- Problems sleeping
- Alcohol abuse
- Abuse of other mind-altering substances
Grief and the Viscous Cycle of Frustration
Feeling frustrated can significantly hamper the grief process for a person dealing with the death by suicide of a family member or friend. Indeed, frustration can create what truly is a vicious cycle in the grief process.
Frustration can make it next to impossible if not actually impossible to work through the grief process. The more challenging the grief process becomes, the more frustrated a grieving person is likely to become. And so on. And so on.
When this occurs, the cycle that is created can be hard to break without professional assistance. Later in this article, we discuss the importance of professional assistance to deal with what fairly can be called frustrated grief.
Signs of Frustrated Grief
There are a number of signs of frustrated grief. The most common of these signs are:
- Irritability or anger
- Obsession with deceased loved one
- Hyper alertness
- Behavioral overreaction
- Self-harming behavior (including drug abuse or addiction)
- Depression (usually low-grade depression)
Usually a person who is in a state of frustrated grief will exhibit more than one of these signs at any particular point in time. There can also be instances in which an individual is frustrated in their grieving process who does not immediately exhibit any particular signs of this state of affairs.
Professional Assistance to Deal With Frustrated Grieving
If you believe that you are in state of frustrated grief, the time likely has come for you to seriously consider seeking professional assistance. There are counselors and therapists who specialize in working with people dealing with grief issues. There are also mental health professionals that focus on working with or treating people who are living in the aftermath of the suicide loss of a loved one.
Instead of individual therapy, group therapy might be an option for you. You might be in a position at which you would benefit from both individual and group therapy.