Grieving process, when to see a specialist

Written by: Dra. Elena Padrell
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Grief is a natural response of people to a major loss. The most common example is given after the death of a loved one. But also we talk about it when you lose is an estimated object, a pet, a vital role as the amputation of a hand or simply a dream or life project.

duel All cultures recognize the match, but it manifests itself very differently in each individual even within the same culture or to the same case of loss. Much depends on the personality of the individual, his education, tolerance and cultural environment familiar to emotional pain and depth of internalization of the lost object. It also depends on the type of loss, that is, if carries more risk of sudden grief that if an expected death, as after a long illness.

Despite the peculiarity of each case, those skilled in psychiatry there is some agreement in order to tell a more complicated case and "normal" grief state or depression. An estimated 10% of cases may be complicated by severe depression with melancholic features. There are risk factors such as lack of social or family support to share or when you have a history of depression or anxiety. Not afford to "normal" grieving process also harms. Some patients flee to prolonging a state of denial in dealing with many work activities or start using toxic substances such as alcohol or drugs.


Grieving process

Grief is a process of adaptation to the loss and, as such, goes through different stages.

  • State of emotional shock: The patient feels disbelief and discredit, in addition to denying what happened.
  • Depressive state: It can last up to three months. The person enters into a depression, sadness and longing for the loved one. This state is known as the mourning period and is characterized by recurrent thoughts of lost, feelings of guilt for not being able to do anything else or not have been somehow able to prevent the loss of the person. During this state you can give passengers sleep disorders, appetite or vital energy. Sometimes they may appear suicidal thoughts but not the way I want to destroy yourself, but as desire to join the dead person.
  • State acceptance of what happened. The person takes up his usual activity such life as it was before the loss. However, there may be slight relapse when the longed person recalled, but these go spacing in time and intensity.


When to contact a specialist in Psychiatry

There are various symptoms and warning signs that indicate you should contact a specialist in Psychiatry. These are:

  • The phase of sadness and depression is accompanied by a lack of performance in the social and labor. Also, if this phase is prolonged beyond three months.
  • The person remembers only the best of the person who has lost, unable to be fair in the memory.
  • Neurovegetative symptoms of sleep, appetite and energy is vital distort and extend for more than three months.
  • Self-esteem is affected and lose confidence in yourself.
  • When mood swings in which the individual is better at night than during the day. Are given
  • If suicidal thoughts persist and are accompanied by gestures or concrete plans.
  • The affected person enters a state of alienation or excessive guilt and reveals having delusions.
  • If you have recurrent obsessive thoughts about their loss, sadness and depression unable to concentrate on anything else.


Psychiatric treatment of mourning

When a case is complicated, we have to make a differential diagnosis or assessing the existence of a substance abuse that could alter the picture.

Treatment includes addressing all signs above. Supportive therapy, either individual or group, it is essential. On the other hand, psychotropic drugs, especially antidepressants and anxiolytics must be worn low prescription and ensuring patient safety.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Elena Padrell

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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