Grief caused by the death of a loved one: 5 ways it can affect us

One of the most common reasons people feel the need for psychotherapeutic help is the death of a family member.

This is understandable, because in many cases the absence of that loved one becomes something that is constantly thought about during the first days after death, which involves obvious psychological wear and tear.

here we will see what are the most common psychological effects of bereavement following the death of a parent, To better understand this phenomenon.

    How can bereavement affect the death of a family member?

    The psychological duel is a predominantly emotional psychological disorder that occurs after experiencing loss situationsThat is, events in which something or someone very important to us disappears from our lives, in whole or in part.

    The prime example of mourning is what appears in most people when a loved one dies, as it signifies the ultimate loss of a very important person.

    Most cases of psychological bereavement do not lead to a mental disorder or progress to what is called “complicated grief”, but that does not mean that it does not cause severe pain during the days or days. the weeks he is present. here we will see what are the main emotional and behavioral implications of a “normal” duel for the death of a loved one.

    1. obsessive ruminations

    Obsessive rumination consists of thoughts and mental images that frequently appear in consciousness and which despite producing discomfort, We can not “lock”.

    In the case of people who are going through a grieving process, these mental contents that crop up again and again in their consciousness often refer to what they have lost, to experiences that will never be repeated, etc.

    2. Anxiety

    Anxiety is also a common occurrence among those who suffer from the death of a family member. Many of these people feel the situation is overwhelming themWhatever they do, reality can be turned against them, and ultimately they interpret all kinds of sources of pain and discomfort to be exposed.

    Part of this is because living near death means having a very clear reminder that one is vulnerable.

      3. Sleep problems

      Sleep problems are relatively common in people who have recently lost a loved one and which are due, in part, to the emotional mismatches we have already explained.

      Even people who are in a psychological grieving process have no difficulty falling asleep (for example, being exhausted after spending most of the day suffering from anxiety) can experience sleep problems. in such situations.

      4. Melancholy

      In any normal grieving process, it is very common to fantasize that the deceased person is still alive and that we can continue to have a relationship with them.

      It’s a way to release the tension built up by the frustration of not being able to be with her.But at the same time, it creates the feeling that reality is not able to satisfy us.

      5. Dysfunctional habits

      When the most painful emotions are at their peak, we are more at risk of adopting harmful habitsBecause we are tempted to look for distractions and experiences that help us hide the discomfort.

      Examples of this type of harmful coping strategies are the tendency to indulge in binge eating even without being hungry, shifting responsibilities so that you can stay longer watching TV, etc.

      Grieving does not involve the development of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder

      There are two psychopathological disorders which, although not part of the grieving process itself, many people often intuitively associate with the concept of the death of parents: depression and post-traumatic stress. How common is it for them to appear after losing a loved one?

      From what has been seen in the research on this topic, the occasions when psychological grief gives way to one of these two disorders (or to both) are relatively rare, although it is necessary to keep in mind that depressive disorders with or without grief if they are fairly common.

      This means that while post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression are not uncommon mental disorders, it is unlikely that a psychological duel will occur over the onset of these.

      On the one hand, most bereavement cases are usually almost completely resolved after a few weeks or months, and does not result in a mood disorder such as major depression.

      Of course, people who have experienced episodes of depression in the past have a higher risk of relapse after going through any of these losses, but even then, death does not necessarily mean redevelopment of symptoms.

      On another side, post-traumatic stress usually develops during a catastrophic or violent event, Which is an emotional shock, and a large number of deaths do not exhibit these characteristics. Even in people who have developed complicated bereavement and have witnessed a violent death, the cases in which post-traumatic stress disorder develops do not reach 65%.

      Are you looking for psychotherapeutic help in the face of grief?

      in therapy it is possible to learn how to properly manage the emotions and habits associated with maintaining bereavement, To be able to overcome it in the best possible way.

      If you are going through painful times due to a grieving process that is on the rise, we invite you to contact our team of professionals.

      Psychomaster is a mental health care center in which we work psychologists and psychiatrists with many years of experience and trained in the most effective methods of caring for patients of all ages.

      You can count on our services both in person at our facilities in Madrid and through online therapy. To see more information about Psicomaster, visit this page.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Archer, J. (1999). The nature of grief: the evolution and psychology of reactions to loss. London, England: Routledge.
      • Bayés, R. (2001). Psychology of suffering and death. Barcelona: Martínez Roca.
      • Neria, Y .; Crude R; Litz B. et al. (2007). Prevalence and psychological correlates of complicated pain in grieving adults, 2.5 to 3.5 years after the 9/11 attacks. Journal of Traumatic Stress; 20: pages 251 to 262.
      • Payás, A. (2008). Psychological functions and treatment of obsessive rumination in mourning. Tower. Assoc. Esp. Neuropsiq., 28 (102): p. 307-323.
      • Shear, K., Frank, E., Houck, P. and Reynolds, C. (2005). Treatment of complicated grief: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 293: pages 2601-2608.
      • Stroebe M., Schut H. & Boerner K. (2017) Duel adaptation models: an updated summary. Psychological Studies, 38 (3): p. 582-607.
      • Worden, WJ (2004). Bereavement treatment: psychological counseling and therapy. Barcelona: Paidós.

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