Tag Archives: Grief

Straight, No Chaser: Life, Death and Grief

stages-of-grief

It’s never easy discussing death. Bereavement is the state of mourning and sadness we endure after the death of a loved one. Grief is that process we endure, either in anticipation of death or in bereavement. Humans have been shown to systematically show grief in a predictable way. This Kubler-Ross model famously describes the response of those dying.

  • Denial, accompanied with simultaneous emotional numbness
  • Anger over the loss
  • Bargaining, as if the possibility of staying alive exists
  • Depression and intense mourning
  • Acceptance

The real point of bringing up the grieving process is to point out that the loss of a loved one is an extremely dangerous time for those left behind. In fact, the death of a spouse is the single highest risk factor for one’s own death. I’m sure many of us can think back to an elderly couple who died months apart.

The period of bereavement is a time when people need to come together, provide support and take care of each other. It’s very important that you and your loved ones know that the emotions you will experience are universal and normal. Try to keep that in mind when the time comes. Be reminded that normal grief can last over a year. Don’t feel abnormal because of the difficulties you may be having moving on. It’s healthy to work through your pain.

Common psychological thought describe four trajectories we take in bereavement.

  • Resilience – the attempt to ‘stay strong’ through it all
  • Recovery – evolution toward a healthy honoring and appreciation of the life of the lost
  • Chronic dysfunction – the unfortunate circumstance of being stuck in the mourning process such that it cripples your existence
  • Delayed grief or trauma – the subsequent release and expression of those suppressed emotions

Grief is to be considered a necessary and healthy part of a recovery process that we should learn to embrace. Here’s hoping you find the path to celebrating the lives of your loved ones when they’ve made the final transition.

I welcome any questions you may have.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

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Straight, No Chaser: The Week in Review and Your Quick Tips

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Another week of knowledge and good health has come and gone at Straight, No Chaser.  Here’s your Week in Review.  Click on any of the underlined topics for links to the original posts.

On Sunday, we started the week reviewing rashes found on the palms and soles.  The entire post was meant to raise awareness that secondary syphilis presents like this, which is an important consideration given how easily primary syphilis can be missed, how devastating tertiary syphilis is and how simple treatment is once diagnosed.  Get it checked, and get it treated.  Sunday also brought a tear jerker of a topic in reviewing the physical signs of child abuse.  We often say knowledge is power, but in this example, knowledge could mean continued life for a victim.  Review those patterns of symptoms, and commit to being involved when needed.

On Monday, we reviewed lactose intolerance, which we tend to think is funny in theory but never is if you’re the one affected.  Remember it’s not the dairy that’s important to your health but the calcium it provides.  There are alternatives.  We also provided Quick Tips for the newborn in your family.  It’s never a bad thing to have a newborn evaluated, but don’t be distraught if the answer to your questions involve a lot of reassurance.  Remember, lots of answers to your questions involve things that happen underneath the diaper.

On Tuesday, we reviewed rabies.  We all knew there was a reason we didn’t like bats, skunks and raccoons, but if you live in the wrong area, your household cat or dog could be just as deadly if they aren’t completely immunized against rabies.  We also looked at injuries that occur from playing golf.  Who’d have thought five hours of swinging a club 100 MPH could cause back problems?  It’s such a peaceful game!

On Wednesday, we discussed ulcers.  Amazingly, peptic ulcer disease is most commonly traceable to a bacterial infection.  This is another condition where smoking and drinking (and overuse of pain medications) will come back to haunt you.  Wednesday also brought a review of allergic reactions and the potential life-threatening nature of them.  Because of this fact, it’s just not a good idea to wait around for things to get better on their own.

On Thursday, we discussed antioxidants and free radicals, which surprised a lot of you.  Although you seemingly can’t go wrong with antioxidants you eat, taking all those expensive supplements has been shown not to provide the same level of benefit and may in fact be harmful.  We also reviewed grief and bereavement.  I hope many of you learned that your suffering and responses are not only normal, but they’re universal.

On Friday, we provided an update on CPR and gave you another reason to remember the BeeGees.  Layperson and bystander CPR has been made so easy that you just have to take the two minutes to learn what to do.  We also reviewed cocaine myths and truths, which is important because cocaine often leads to the need for CPR.  I think I scared some people off with the image of big needles to treat their cocaine erections… Oh well!

On Saturday, we discussed drowning.  Keep your infants at arm’s length, and remember to bring a few life-savers (preservers, ropes, etc.) when you plan on being especially adventurous in the water.  We wrapped the week up discussing bedwetting, which often resolves on its own but sometimes is a symptom of another medical condition.

Thanks for your support and continued feedback.  If you have topics you’d like to see discussed, please feel free to send me an email or comment.

Jeffrey E. Sterling, MD

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Straight, No Chaser: The Grief of it All

stages-of-grief

It’s never easy discussing death. Bereavement is the state of mourning and sadness we endure after the death of a loved one. Grief is that process we endure, either in anticipation of death or in bereavement. Humans have been shown to systematically show grief in a predictable way. This Kubler-Ross model famously describes the response of those dying.

  • Denial, accompanied with simultaneous emotional numbness
  • Anger over the loss
  • Bargaining, as if the possibility of staying alive exists
  • Depression and intense mourning
  • Acceptance

The real point of bringing up the grieving process is to point out that the loss of a loved one is an extremely dangerous time for those left behind. In fact, the death of a spouse is the single highest risk factor for one’s own death. I’m sure many of us can think back to an elderly couple who died months apart.

The period of bereavement is a time when people need to come together, provide support and take care of each other. It’s very important that you and your loved ones know that the emotions you will experience are universal and normal. Try to keep that in mind when the time comes. Be reminded that normal grief can last over a year. Don’t feel abnormal because of the difficulties you may be having moving on. It’s healthy to work through your pain.

Common psychological thought describe four trajectories we take in bereavement.

  • Resilience – the attempt to ‘stay strong’ through it all
  • Recovery – evolution toward an healthy honoring and appreciation of the life of the lost
  • Chronic dysfunction – the unfortunate circumstance of being stuck in the mourning process such that it cripples your existence
  • Delayed grief or trauma – the subsequent release and expression of those suppressed emotions

Grief is to be considered a necessary and healthy part of a recovery process that we should learn to embrace.

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Filed under Mental Health, Public Health