Mourning

Mourning or mourning labor


Mourning is the syndrome caused by the death of a loved one. It can also be generated by the loss of a loved one through separation or divorce or an object or a life circumstance with a very high emotional load. How it manifests:

  • Sadness and crying
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Decreased ability to concentrate

  • Suicidal ideation is very rare
  • Symptoms disappear within 6 months to a maximum of one year
  • The person responds to reinsurance and social contacts.
  • There is no significant response to antidepressant medication

Stages of mourning:


  1. Numbness or protest - is characterized by suffering, fear and anger. The shock can last for a few moments, days or months.

  2. Longing and searching for the lost figure - the world seems empty and meaningless but self-esteem remains intact. Thoughts are focused on the lost person, there is physical restlessness, crying, anger. It can even take years.

  3. Disorganization and despair - anxiety and lack of purpose. There is social withdrawal, introversion, irritability. Memories of the deceased or relived repeatedly.

  4. Reorganization - the person realizes that his life will continue with new adjustments and different goals.

Mourning in children:


  1. Protest phase - the child longs for the lost parent
  2. The phase of despair - the child feels hopelessness, withdrawal and apathy.
  3. Detachment phase - the child gives up the emotional attachment to the lost parent and can transfer the emotional need to one or more adults.

Mourning by losing a child:

  • It is a more intense experience than the loss of an adult
  • Feelings of guilt and helplessness can be overwhelming
  • Stages of shock, anger, denial, negotiation and acceptance occur.
  • Manifestations of mourning can last a lifetime
  • Up to 50% of marriages in which a child has died end in divorce.

The main complication of mourning is major depression. People with a history of depression, under the age of 30, those with poor health or those with a limited social and professional support system are vulnerable. Also, secondary to mourning labor, prolonged or exaggerated mourning, anxiety disorders or substance use disorders may occur.

Mourning management and therapy


Ventilation of emotions is encouraged. The patient can talk about loved ones, being useful to recall memories with positive content. It is preferable not to censor crying or anger. Discussions about the deceased can also take place in a small group of people who knew him, in the presence of the grieving person. Supportive therapy is more functional than psychotropic medication. Medication can help in the short term and in minimal doses. The possibility of a delayed mourning reaction consisting of behavioral changes, agitation, increased emotional lability or substance abuse should also be considered. Such a reaction can occur near the anniversary of a death - anniversary reaction. In this situation psychotherapy is indicated.

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