Rollie Elizondo, LCSW
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work, where I focused my studies in political and clinical social work. Before that, I earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Houston. I maintain my studies in the field of mental health and have continued my development through books, peer reviewed research, participating in continuing education courses and workshops. It is by a combination of these tools that I ensure awareness of the latest evidence-based treatment theories and approaches.
Grief and Loss
Loss can come in a variety of ways. You can lose relationships, loved ones, objects, jobs, physical abilities, connectivity with yourself and purpose, to name a few. The human reaction to this is grief. Although grief reactions do overlap between individuals, your experience is truly your own. In grief counseling we will work together to process these experiences and ensure there is a natural and healthy adaption by successfully addressing the tasks of mourning.
Sometimes, this suffering can last longer and be more severe than what is typical due to problematic factors related to the loss. When this happens, it manifests itself by going beyond expected symptoms of grief, and you may experience extreme anxiety, clinical levels of depression, problems functioning in day to day activities, self-destructive behaviors, medical ailments and unyielding denial. When this occurs the treatment will enter into grief therapy to address these underlying barriers to completing the tasks of mourning.
The guises of depression are many. It can be a mild persistent state of low energy, a profound load of emotional heaviness, a cratering despair from existential anxiety, lack of interests or low self-esteem. It can be brought on by circumstances we find ourselves in, and/or by biological/chemical factors. It can be experienced suddenly or slowly. It can also be a one and done, mild and long lasting, or episodic. The experience and suffering in depression is a complex, and highly misunderstood to the point that it sadly lends itself to be laden with stigma. There are many symptoms of depression, but everyone’s experience is quite unique due to a combination of symptoms, onset and duration.
The experiences you face in midlife can be a stressful as they are new. Many people can find themselves feeling discontented and restless as they struggle with aging, mortality, and holding onto a sense of purpose.
In this period of your life you may take on a change in careers, add professional responsibilities, deal with aging parents, new personal health challenges, changing relationships and transitions within your own family. It is here that you may feel a compelling draw to pause, look around and reassess where you find yourself in life and make meaningful changes while you feel there is still time.