Grief can be a thoroughly flattening experience. You don't feel like getting out of bed, you cry all the time, and you can't foresee a time when you'll feel better. However, while the psychological effects of grief can be devastating, the physical symptoms of grief can be just as powerful, and you may not be prepared for them.
"When it comes to processing grief, we struggle with how it makes us feel and the symptoms can manifest physically," Celeste Viciere, LMHC, a therapist at the Uniting Center, tells Bustle. "One reason behind the physical manifestation of grief could be because we tend to mask some of our internal pain. We tend to hold our trauma in our body and when it is not processed, it can start to manifest in a physical way." Physical symptoms can stem from stress, anxiety and other psychological issues, but they do require attention on their own merits.
It's important to note that not everybody experiences grief in the same physical way. "Grief is such a personal journey in that it can affect one person physically in a very different way than it affects another person physically," Heidi McBain LMFT, a mental health counselor, tells Bustle. There isn't one mold of physical grief symptoms: people can experience exhaustion, a loss of memory, crying fits, aches and pains all at the same time. Whether you're getting over a breakup, a death, or some other kind of serious loss, the physical symptoms aren't imaginary or unimportant; they're a real part of the experience, and should be recognized as such.
Here are nine ways grief can physically affect you, and how to handle it.