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You may think you know how to be a supportive friend in a time of loss, grief, and devastation.
But a new report suggests many of us - particularly in the era of social media - may be off the mark.
Research - Report - WebMD - People - Media
Glaringly, the research, a special report by WebMD, found most people who are grieving find social media posts or messages about their loss to be either pointless, irritating or actively distressing - in fact, barely anyone thought they were a good idea.
Even offline, though, most people feel pressure to be cheery and breezy after three months, when in reality it takes vast majority up to a year later to come to terms with their loss.
Survey - US - Adults - Thirds - Years
The survey of over 1,000 US adults found more than two thirds had grieved in the past three years - many for reasons besides losing a loved-one, including the loss of a career, of a friend, of possessions, of good health.
Many experienced symptoms that might not typically be associated with grief - some solely feeling anger and no sadness, some inexplicably tired, many developing physical symptoms, such as insomnia.
Friend - Need - Time - Space - Dr
So you can you help a friend in need? And how can you give yourself time, space, and understanding when grieving? Dr Seth J Gillihan, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and WebMD contributor, spoke to DailyMail.com about the pitfalls we all have a tendency to fall into, and how to curb our somewhat unhelpful instincts.
'It's so common,' Dr Gillihan sighed. 'We all try to do one of two things.'
First, we spring into action.
'We try to fix the person's grief, to take it away, either by minimizing it, saying "I'm surprised you're so upset!", or by trying to offer advice - "this was helpful to my aunt when she lost her husband,"' Gillihan...
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