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March 21, 2019

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Mind Matters

Mind Matters: Suffering with Profound Grief Disorder

Phil Bradley speaks about his experiences with grief and how if differs from what that majority of people go though, in ‘Mind Matters’, a series of mental health videos from SHP and The Healthy Work Company.

Mind Matters - Suffering with Profound Grief DisorderSHP and The Healthy Work Company are publishing a series of videos, entitled Mind Matters, featuring people speaking candidly about their personal experiences with mental ill health.

In the seventh of the series Phil Bradley, discusses how his grief makes him feel, how that differs from what might be expected and what he has learned from the experience.

Phil told The Healthy Work Company’s Heather Beach that he has been suffering with the disorder for about eight years. “You don’t have any joy in life, you lose any interest in hobbies and life is completely grey,” he said.

Describing what Profound Grief Disorder is, Phil said: “You find that you still have very extreme emotions over the death, or regarding the person who has died.” He sees his life as “an existence” and said, “it’s really not like living at all.”

It took Phil a while before he realised anything was wrong, “I just thought it was what everyone went through, but just perhaps slightly more extreme.”

Once diagnosed, Phil said it made him question all of his past relationships, with his wife, his parents, even those he had as a child, and he realised that his exhibited the disorder right from childhood, when his grandmother passed away when he was seven.

A helpful tool for working with his grief is to replay the day the person died over and over again, “this allows you to listen and feel the grief, but then put it down and walk away from it.”

Phil believes that it’s a UK culture that we don’t know how to handle grief properly, “We simply don’t have the vocabulary for it or a language we can use,” he said.

“People don’t have a way of showing their understanding of grief and so what a lot of people will do, is they ignore the person who is grieving, or they ignore the grief element. We’re still a very reserved country and we don’t want the person to break down in front of us.

“What I have found helpful is just to say something. What you say to the person who is grieving, doesn’t really matter. It’s just that you are acknowledging the suffering that they are going through.”

For more on the Mind Matters series, click here.

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