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Symptoms of Grief

Though each person grieves in unique ways, there are common behavioral, emotional, and physical signs and symptoms that people who are grieving typically experience.

  • Physically, persons affected by grief may experience:

    • Fatigue and exhaustion alternating with periods of high alertness and energy
    • Temporary hearing loss or vision impairment (possibly associated with dissociation)
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Disturbed appetite (either more appetite or less appetite than normal)
    • Muscle tremors
    • Chills and/or sweating
    • Difficulty breathing or rapid respiration
    • Increased heart rate or blood pressure
    • Stomach and/or intestinal problems
    • Nausea and/or dizziness
  • Mentally, persons affected by grief may experience:

    • Confusion (memory, concentration, judgment and comprehension difficulties)
    • Intrusion (unwanted thoughts, arousal, nightmares)
    • Dissociation (feeling of detachment and unreality, disorientation, denial)
  • Emotionally, persons affected by grief may experience:

    • Shock
    • Fear, anxiety or apprehension
    • Anger, irritability or agitation
    • Guilt
    • Numbness, remoteness, depression
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