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    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:

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    • 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.
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