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Grief & Bereavement

Bereavement and grief aren’t light-hearted topics. Bereavement refers to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one, and grief is a reaction for any form of loss. Both encompass a wide range of emotions such as fear, anger and deep, deep sadness.

The process of adapting to a loss can dramatically change from person to person, depending on his or her background, beliefs, relationship to the person who’s passed, and other factors.

Common symptoms of grief can be physical, emotional or social.

A few common symptoms in these categories are:

Physical

  • Crying and sighing

  • Headaches

  • Loss of appetite

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Weakness

  • Fatigue

Emotional

  • Feelings of sadness and yearning

  • Feelings of worry or anger

  • Feelings of frustration or guilt

Social

  • Feeling detached from others

  • Self-isolation from social contact

  • Behaving in ways that are not normal for you

Every grieving experience is different. A person may be able to continue their day-to-day routine after one loss, yet not be able to get out of bed after the loss of someone else. Whatever your personal symptoms are, grief and bereavement counseling have been proven to help.

Diagnostic Criteria for Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder

As persistent complex bereavement disorder is a relatively new disorder and yet to be classified, a number of diagnostic criteria have been suggested by a consortium of mental health practitioners from around the world. These are, broadly:

The patient experienced the death of a loved one at least six months previously

At least one of the following symptoms has been present longer than expected, taking into account the person’s social or cultural environment:

  • Intense and persistent yearning for the deceased

  • Frequent preoccupation with the deceased

  • Intense feelings of emptiness or loneliness

  • Recurrent thoughts that life is meaningless or unfair without the deceased

  • A frequent urge to join the deceased in death

At least two of the following symptoms have been recorded for at least one month:

  • Feeling shocked, stunned or numb since a loved one’s death

  • Feelings of disbelief or inability to accept the loss

  • Rumination about the circumstances or consequences of the death

  • Anger or bitterness about the death

  • Experiencing pain that the deceased suffered, or hearing/seeing the deceased

  • Trouble trusting or caring about others

  • Intense reactions to memories or reminders of the deceased

  • Avoidance of reminders of the deceased, or the opposite – seeking out reminders to feel close to the deceased

  • Symptoms cause substantial distress for the sufferer or impact significantly on areas of functioning and cannot be attributed to other causes.

If you are experiencing grief-related thoughts, behaviors, or feelings that are distressing, please contact us today for a free consultation

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