Saturday, June 6, 2009

Common Words Associated With Grief

There are many words associated with grief. The following identifies and defines ( some of the common words used.

Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss. It includes the emotional numbness, disbelief, separation, anxiety, despair, sadness, and loneliness that accompany the loss of someone or something loved. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. Common to human experience is the death of a loved one, whether it be a friend, family, or other companion.

Mourning is, in the simplest sense, synonymous with grief over the death of someone. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate. Customs vary between different cultures and evolve over time, though many core behaviors remain constant.
Wearing dark, sombre clothes is one practice followed in many countries, though other forms of dress are also seen. Those most affected by the loss of a loved one often observe a period of grieving, marked by withdrawal from social events and quiet, respectful behavior. People may also follow certain religious traditions for such occasions.

Simply, mourning is what you show to the world how you are experiencing your grief. It is your outward appearance of grief.

Bereavement often refers to the state of loss, and grief to the reaction to loss. So, it is suffering the death of your loved one.

Anticipatory Grief refers to a grief reaction that occurs before an impending loss. Typically, the impending loss is a death of someone close or one's own death due to illness. Anticipatory grief can also be a response to other types of impending losses ( a scheduled mastectomy, a pending divorce, a company downsizing, a country at war). The post-loss stages of grief: denial, bargaining, depression, anger and acceptance (Kubler-Ross) can also be present in anticipatory grief. Anxiety, dread, guilt, helplessness, and hopelessness are also common.

Complicated Grief as defined by Mayo Clinic....During the first few months after a loss, many signs and symptoms of normal grief are the same as those of complicated grief. However, while normal grief symptoms gradually start to fade, those of complicated grief get worse or linger for months or even years. Complicated grief is like being in a chronic, heightened state of mourning.

It is important to note, if you or a loved one are experiencing Complicated Grief seek professional help! Complicated Grief issues can be debilitating and last for years. Complicated Grief is mainly distinguished from a normal grief response by the intensity and prolonged phase of intense mourning. It may also be marked by excessive behaviors such as, drinking heavily, drug abuse, etc. Complicated Grief usually manifest itself over a long period of time, months or even years. Many factors can play a role in leading to complicated grief. Some things that can lead to Complicated Grief are unresolved issues associated with the loved one that has died, if there was an estrangement with the loved one, if there was excessive conflict in the relationship prior to the death, etc.

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