#MentalHealth: Dr Anjali Chhabria offers solution for coping with grief

Last week, we lost our pet of eight years due to his persisting health issues. I have been feeling very low, and crying a lot since then. Yesterday, I had a nightmare in which I saw my parents dying. I am scared of death and any talks related to it. I know it isn’t normal, and that it is my grief talking, but I am really affected by my pet’s death. What can I do to lessen the pain?

Ans: I am very sorry for your loss. It must be emotionally painful to come to terms with the passing away of your pet. We humans have the ability to express grief and bereavement, and sometimes we might need additional help. You can speak to your family members who are also living this pain and loss to get an insight into their coping mechanisms. As far as not wanting to talk about death and being scared, it is quite natural to feel so. In case this persists for another few days, visit a therapist for grief counselling.

I was running a restaurant with my friend in Khar, Mumbai. It was a successful business until the pandemic hit. Last few months, we could survive since we had other sources of income. But now that things are running again, maintaining the restaurant has become an issue for us. The business isn’t like before and the expenses are still the same. I am quite stressed, and can’t sleep at night. What can be done here?

Ans: Few practical choices need to be made as the business might take more time to function in its full swing. People are still apprehensive about stepping out and eating at a restaurant with the same frequency. Discuss the future possibilities with your friend with respect to how to run the business with minimum loss. You can probably hire a business developer who can curate new ideas and help in revival of the restaurant as well. Worry will only dampen the mood and lead to sleepless nights.

My mother turned 80 last month. I recently noticed that she has been repeating herself quite a lot, forgets things kept here and there, and most importantly, she is complaining of memory lapses. I don’t understand this sudden change in her behaviour. How to investigate this further?

Ans: This could be due to multiple reasons: Age, neurological ailment or a result of some pre-existing medical condition. Memory loss can be detected using few neurological assessment tools. Once the root cause is established, the treatment can begin accordingly. Meet a neurologist so that you know which direction to head to. You can also start playing few memory games, sudoku, puzzles to keep her engaged, and prevent further damage. Keep a track of her diet by adding few items which are good for her memory.

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