What are Normal Grief Reactions?

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Definition

Normal feelings, behaviors and reactions to a loss Normal grief reactions to a loss can be physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral

Normal Grief Reactions

Physical

  • hollowness in stomach
  • tightness in chest
  • heart palpitations
  • sensitivity to noise
  • breathlessness
  • weakness
  • tension
  • lack of energy
  • dry mouth
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • loss of libido
  • increase in appetite, loss of appetite
  • weight gain or loss
  • exhaustion
  • tight throat
  • vulnerable to illness
  • restlessness
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • muscle aches
  • sexual impotency
  • insomnia
  • tremors, shakes

Emotional

  • numbness
  • relief
  • emancipation
  • sadness
  • yearning
  • anxiety
  • fear
  • anger
  • guilt and self- reproach
  • shame
  • loneliness
  • helplessness
  • hopelessness
  • abandonment
  • loss of control
  • emptiness
  • despair
  • ambivalence
  • loss of ability for pleasure
  • shock

Cognitive

  • disbelief state of depersonalization
  • confusion
  • inability to concentrate
  • idealization of the deceased
  • preoccupation with thoughts or image of the deceased
  • dreams of the deceased
  • sense of presence of deceased
  • fleeting, tactile, olfactory, visual and auditory hallucinatory experiences
  • search for meaning in life and death

Behavioral

  • impaired work performance
  • crying
  • withdrawal
  • avoiding reminders of the deceased
  • seeking or carrying reminders of the deceased
  • over-reactivity
  • changed relationships

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