RELIGST 2M03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Psychomotor Retardation, Sigmund Freud, Reed Pipe

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Death and Dying: Comparative Views
Religious Studies 2M03
Dr. Sherry Smith
Lecture 4
June 30th 2016
Grief and Mourning
Bereavement is…
The objective event of loss
A change of social status
An outcome of large-scale social phenomena
Grief is…
The reaction to loss encompassing thoughts and feelings, as well
as physical, behavioural, and spiritual responses
Dissociative Flight
Psychomotor Agitation
Grief is not a physical illness, although it can increase
vulnerability to illness
Major depressive disorder – bereavement has to last longer than
2 months, or there is a functional impairment, morbid
preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, psychotic
symptoms, psychomotor retardation
Theories of Grief – The Grief Work Theory: Sigmund Freud
1. Grief is an adaptive response to loss
2. The work of grief is difficult and time consuming
3. The purpose of grief work is to accept the reality of the
death and thereby become liberated from the strong
attachment one had to the “lost object”
4. Grief work is carried out through a long series of
confrontations with the reality of the loss
5. The process is complicated by our resistance to letting go
of the attachment
6. The failure of grief work results in continued misery and
Theories of Grief – Attachment: John Bowlby
Adult grief resonates with our early experiences of separation
Theories of Grief – Components of Grief Work: Colin M. Parkes
Preoccupations with thoughts of the deceased person
Repeatedly going over the loss experience in one’s mind
Attempts to explain the loss
Theories of Grief – Stage Theory: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
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