Emotional Effects Of Grief

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Grief is the natural reaction to any kind of loss, but it is usually associated with the death of a loved one. Nearly everyone will lose someone or something in their lifetime, meaning that nearly everyone will experience grief in one way or another. The effects of grief can come in many forms, including emotional symptoms, physical symptoms, and can even develop into mental disorders that cross over into more than one dimension. Emotional Effects and Expressions of Grief Some effects of grief are extremely common, but are not all of them are felt by every griever. Common reactions include feelings of sadness, anger, and loneliness. (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2013a). The anger that is felt can be directed at anyone or anything,…show more content…
The griever may feel tightness in their chest or throat, making it difficult to breathe. It is also common to feel weak or nauseous (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2013a). Sleeping habits may be affected as well, resulting in difficulty falling or staying asleep. The lack of sleep can lead to feeling exhausted or losing energy quickly (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2013a; Williams, 2014). It is also possible for grief to cause vulnerability to illnesses (American Society of Clinical Oncology,…show more content…
One set of symptoms used to diagnose PGD are described as separation distress. These include intrusive thoughts about the relationship that has been lost, intense emotional pain, and extreme yearning for the lost relationship (Craig, 2010). There are also cognitive, emotional, and behavioural symptoms of PGD. The individual experiencing PGD may have confusion about their own identity. They may feel that part of them died along with the person that they are grieving for. Other symptoms include difficulty accepting the loss and avoiding reminders. The griever may also feel that life is unfulfilling and meaningless without the deceased, and have a hard time moving on with their life (Craig, 2010). If the griever is unable to move forward in life, they may have an extreme preoccupation with the deceased. The griever is constantly trying to find ways to keep the deceased alive (Khoshaba, 2013). This preoccupation is almost like an addiction to the memories of the deceased. MRI scans of the brains of individuals experiencing complicated grief show activation in the parts of the brain responsible for rewards and addiction (Khoshaba, 2013). In PGD, the symptoms are bad enough that they severely interfere with the griever’s everyday social, occupational, and life activities. Conclusion Grief is experienced and expressed differently for every individual. There are many factors that can influence grief. A person’s culture can affect
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