~ Acute Responses to Loss ~
Various Responses to Loss
There are a variety of responses physical, ccognitive,
behavioral, and emotional that can be exhibited after experiencing a loss.
Different types of loss can precipitate these responses be it a death,
a traumatic event, the break up of a long-standing relationship. A grieving
person can undergo both significant and subtle changes that impact their
physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states. It is important to understand
that these feelings and experiences are a way of coping. These are normal
reactions to a major loss. These responses should be viewed as a normal
response to an abnormal event. It is important to remember that
The acute responses to
loss are not unhealthy or maladaptive responses.
Rather they are normal
responses to an abnormal event.
Kirsti A. Dyer,
Depending on the perception and experiences
of the loss, people may experience one of the following responses or a
combination of the following normal responses to this event:
For more information on the different responses, click on the links above.
People may respond differently to the same loss or
traumatic event. People experience stress and respond to stress in different
ways. Not everyone demonstrates a reaction to a loss. Some people may not
appear to be affected. Some have delayed reactions that do not show up
for days, to weeks or even months later. Others never have a reaction at
all. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms. It is important not to compare
our reaction with the reactions of others, or judge their reactions or
even lack of reactions.
The grieving person may experience a variety of
physical or body complaints: fatigue, insomnia, pain, gastrointestinal
symptoms, chest pressure, palpitations, stomach pains, backaches, panic
attacks, or inreased anxiety. These potentially serious complaints require
a through evaluation to exclude potentially serious medical disorders before
a traumatic response, a grief response, or a stress disorder can be diagnosed.
Which reaction or response is experienced may
be determined by which type of health care professional you might encounter.
Trauma responders and emergency room physicians are more familiar with
the Acute Traumatic Response. Primary Care and Family practitioners with
the Acute Grief Response and Mental Health Workers with the Acute Stress
Disorder (or the more chronic condition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
The signs symptoms involved in these different reactions to loss are overlapping
The traumatic nature and the magnitude of the
events that occurred on September 11, 2001, combined with the vastness
of the death and the destruction, the suddenness and senselessness of the
attack make it more likely those who witnessed the events will have some
response to this abnormal event.
Those who grieve
find comfort in weeping and in arousing their sorrow
until the body is too
tired to bear the inner emotions
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
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