Grief is extremely important to our physical health, It is a physiological process not psychological. Obviously, our brain is part of our physiology, so grieving is very important to our brain. THERE IS NO TIME FRAME for grieving. When we lose big time, the grieving may go on for a life time.
The key in grief is knowing that the loss has occurred. If I do not take the TIME to grieve, the loss never gets processed into my memory, and I wake up every morning feeling the loss anew, as if the loss is occurring today.
Fortunately or unfortunately, grieving requires being depressed and angry. Can't skip over depression and anger. Kind of like baseball. To get a 300 batting average, you have to be willing to step up to the plate 100% of the time knowing full well you will fail 70% of the time.
Grieving will rebalance our brain chemistry, and that obviously is good for our mental health. It does that by processing and integrating the loss in both our right and left hemisphere, logically and emotionally, which makes it possible for the loss to shift from being "stuck"" in our amygdala to being remembered in our hippocampus.
I think that is enough from me!
My interpretation of your answer is that grieving can be healthy mentally but only if the grieving is in balance with logic and emotion. What happens when the grieving becomes 'out of whack' or as you suggest being 'stuck'? Is this mentally unhealthy
By "stuck," I meant when the logical brain does not affirm the sensibility of the emotions. Grieving is out of whack when it is not affirmed or denied and then shut down or you convince yourself you are done when you are not.
Humans are primarily social animals and the death of a loved one typically triggers a powerful grief reaction. Although individuals differ considerably in their reactions to a loss (both with regards to symptoms and time-scales) a grief reaction broadly corresponds to a sequence of stages:
1. Disbelief: A sense of unreality, or a denial that the person has actually died. Searching behaviour, where the bereaved “sees” the deceased loved one in the street or when they expect him or her to walk through the door, would be common examples of this stage
2. Anger: Annoyance, even rage, about the loss directed at God, the deceased person, or the world at large.
3. Sadness: As the reality of the death sinks in, profound sadness is commonly experienced, often described as a physical pain at the core of the survivor’s being.
4. Acceptance: Eventually, some sort of ring-fence is put around our grief so that we can continue with our lives without our grief impacting continually on our functioning.
Although often extremely painful, and negatively impacting on a person’s level of functioning, grief is a normal reaction. Contrary to the assertions from the latest edition of the DSM psychiatric diagnostic system, grief is not a mental disorder or mental illness, but a process that needs to be negotiated and worked through. Most of us will have emerged from the main paralysis of bereavement within 12 to 24 months after the death. Some behaviours following the death may delay or complicate the grieving process if they continue for too long, for example refusing to talk about the deceased, avoiding any reminders of the deceased (such as photographs or the grave), or refusing to disturb the deceased’s belongings.
While grief in itself is a natural response to loss, it can sometimes elicit more serious mental health problems such as depression and agoraphobia. People who have unfortunately been deprived of good attachments (positive, affirmative relationships) in their lives or who have always been overly dependent on just one person might be particular vulnerable to the death of a loved one. Thus, it is no coincidence that rates of depression are higher in older people who commonly have to endure multiple losses.
Some excellent points. I especially like your taking issue with making grief into a mental illness.
Are their differences, from a psychological viewpoint, as to the relationship with the deceased? What is the impact of the grief losing a parent, sibling or child compared with a close friend? Do these associations produce grief of varying intensity?
It is not how the deceased is related to you (partner, parent, child, sibling, friend) that will determine the likely strength of the grief reaction, but more the nature of the relationship that exists and the circumstances of the death.
A famous urdu saying is " Dard jab hadd se guzar jaata hai, tto dawaa ban jata hai".....it means that " pain when reaches to the extent of extreme becomes remeady itself !
very true, as the same way grief also do in our lives..it sometimes play very important role of booster that not only enhances the power of mind & body to bear the sufferings and agony of the adverse but provides solace at that moment & generates courage to overcome all adverse...and new avenues opens up to keep the life on!
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