Managing Limb Loss Grief

Every time we lose someone or something, we experience a grieving process. When most people think of grieving and loss, it is usually in regards to a person. However, it is significantly difficult when it comes to losing your own limb. Many of the stages of grief are similar to the grief of losing a person.

What are the signs and symptoms of grief?

Many times it is loss of appetite, lack of energy, poor concentration, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, sleeplessness, and feeling hopeless or worthless.

Image courtesy of anankkml at

How to overcome grief?

One of the most important things to do is to get rest and eat well. That means limiting sugar. Sugar will give you a quick bursts of energy, but the energy level is just as quickly lost. In other words, you will experience high and lows in quick succession. Having healthy eating habits will not just improve your mood, but will also improve your overall inner well-being.

Exercise releases endorphins, a natural mood booster. Being involved in physical and recreational exercise is a great way to help overcome your grief and learn to adapt to the everyday world.

Emotionally, remember that you are not alone and you are not to blame. Talk to your loved ones and tell them that you are experiencing grief – be honest! They are there to love you and support you! Remember, people want to help you but often don’t know what to do to support you. So don’t be afraid to ask! Again, be honest!

Laughter is a great healer of grief and depression. Do things every day to have fun and find the humor in everyday life.

Forgive yourself or others – don’t judge. Learn to think of yourself in a different way. Finally, focus on emphasizing your best features versus focusing on the loss.

Amputation is an enormous loss and learning to adjust is a long process – so be kind and gentle to yourself. The main goal is to not isolate yourself from people, especially those who are wanting to help you! Always remember, you are much more than physical experience.

If the grief becomes an overwhelming depression and changes are occurring, contact a support group or simply get professional help. Below are some valuable resources to help you manage grief and depression:

Suicide Prevention Life Line

Amputee Coalition

Find a Support Group in Your Area

Mental Heath America

Additional Information About Depression




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