Counseling and support groups can be beneficial in addition to the traditional interventions mentioned. According to J. William Worded (1 982), many times people come for medical or psychiatric care unaware of the dynamics of grief, and this requires that the clinician help make the diagnosis” (p. 61 We will explore the diagnostic criteria for bereavement, take a look at the etiology, discuss symptoms and behaviors of grief, and delve into the impact of homicide on the grieving process. Due to the fact that grieving sis natural course of life there is no diagnostic criteria for grief.
Pathology is not attached to grief because it could then be viewed as an illness which it is not. Sometimes people call the riving process depression. It is important to understand that while grief may have some Of the same diagnostic criteria as major depressive disorder there are differences. According to the ADSM-V (201 3), with grief the predominate affect is feelings of emptiness, whereas with major depressive disorder a persistent depression with the inability to anticipate happiness or pleasure is most prevalent.
Research has shown that traumatic bereavement comes from a sudden death such as homicide or suicide, resulting in what is called persistent complex bereavement (complicated grief) due to the deadness and manner of death. Persistent complex bereavement can only be considered in adults if symptoms persist longer than 12 months after the person close to you has died and it is more prevalent in females than males (ADSM-V, 2013). The cause of bereavement is when someone to whom you were close to or loved has died. Individuals are unique and it would make sense that their grief would be too.
Research has shown there are many symptoms people can display when going through grief. J. William Worded (1982) said “Because the list of normal grief behavior is so extensive and aired, these behaviors can be described under four general categories: (1) feelings, (2) physical sensations, (3) cognitions, and (4) behaviors” (p. 20). Under the category of feelings symptoms would include: sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, helplessness, shock, yearning, emancipation, relief, and numbness (Worded, 1982).
Somatic sensations can include: hollowness in the stomach, tightness in the chest or throat, oversensitivity to noise, diversification, short of breath, muscle weakness, dry mouth, and lack of energy (Worded, 1982). Cognitions for grief are varied. There are some Hough patterns that disappear after the early stages of grief and others that persist longer and trigger sadness and/or anxiety (Worded, 1982). Grief can cause thought patterns such as: disbelief, confusion/trouble concentrating, preoccupation, sense of presence, and hallucinations (Worded, 1982).
The range of behaviors that are often associated with bereavement are varied and vast. Common behaviors displayed are: sleep disturbances, appetite disturbances, absent-minded behavior, social withdrawal, dreams of the deceased, avoiding reminders of the deceased, searching and calling out for he deceased, restless overcapacity, crying, visiting places or carrying objects that remind the survivor of the deceased (Worded, 1982). When dealing with traumatic or sudden death, research has shown the grieving process can become complicated leading to what is known as persistent complex bereavement (ADSM-V, 2013).
There may be a display of symptoms & manifestations that are outside of the average bereavement process such as increased anxiety, postgraduates stress disorder, intense guilt, auditory or visual hallucinations of the deceased, and preoccupation with the manner in which the person died (ADSM-V, 2013). According to the Centers for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics (201 3), homicide is the third leading cause of death in men and the fifth leading cause in women in the age group twenty-five to thirty-four.
When someone has a spouse that has been murdered they can have trouble moving through the process of grieving. There is no way to prepare for the loss of a loved one through murder. The sudden and unpreventable nature leaves nothing but pain and anguish in its wake (Soars, 2001 Laurence Miller (2009) said, “The cruel and luscious nature of murder compounds the rage, grief, and despair of the survivors a deep and justifiable anger toward the killer alternately smolders and flares as investigations and legal actions meander along” (p. 8). There are other factors outside of grief that homicide survivors must handle. Media attention can be intrusive to some families compounding the grieving process. Often, there is a microphone shoved in their faces, trying to elicit a reaction or response (Soars, 2001 ). “Very often, in sensationalists cases, family members are subjected to frequent and in-depth discussions of he case and of their loved one’s lifestyle” (Soars, 2001 , p. 99).