Grief is a natural reaction to loss. Whether you lose
a beloved person, animal, place, object, or valued way of life (such as your
job, marriage, or good health), you will probably experience some grief. It's
often worse when the loss is traumatic, sudden, or unexpected, because there is
little or no chance to prepare for it or say good-bye.
If you have
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have
recently lost a loved one, you may have symptoms for a longer time than if you
hadn't lost a loved one.1
Events that can cause grief
Everyone grieves in a
different way. There is no normal and expected period of time for grieving.
It may take as long as 18 to 24 months to accept the death of a
loved one. It can take much longer when the death or loss is traumatic or
unexpected. How long you grieve can depend on how much the loss meant to you
and how prepared you were for the loss.
You may experience:
You also may be confused and have a hard time making
decisions. You may blame yourself or others for the loss.
During the grieving process, you
Don't give yourself a timetable for getting over it. You
may need to talk to a counselor or other professional.
information, see the topics
Grief and Grieving and
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
CitationsNeria Y, Litz BT (2004). Bereavement by traumatic means: The complex synergy of trauma and grief. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 9(1): 73–87.
January 13, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jessica Hamblen, PhD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
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