Skip to content

Health & Balance

Font Size

Grief and Grieving - When to Call a Doctor

If you or someone you know develops complications of grief, such as disturbing or suicidal thoughts, depression, or anxiety, get help.

Call 911 or other emergency services if:

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

The Power of Praise

By Gretchen Rubin I'm a real gold-star junkie. One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the recognition, the praise, that gold star stuck on my homework. Recently, I was grumbling to my mother about the fact that some extraordinarily praiseworthy effort on my part had gone unremarked upon. My mother wisely responded, "Most people probably don't get the appreciation they deserve." That's right, I realized — for instance, my mother herself! I certainly don't give her...

Read the The Power of Praise article > >

  • You think you cannot stop yourself from harming or killing yourself.
  • You hear voices that frighten you, especially if the voices tell you to hurt yourself or other people.
  • Someone who is grieving tries to harm himself or herself or someone else.
  • Someone who is grieving threatens to hurt someone else or makes threats of suicide.

Call a doctor 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 behavior 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.

Who to see

Counseling is best done by a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling, such as a:

Health professionals who can help you if you are having medical or mental health problems requiring medicine include:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
    Take your medication
    Hand appearing to hold the sun
    Hungover man
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Woman worn out on couch
    Happy and sad faces
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    laughing family