Yale University Grieving Study

socksFebruary 22, 2007

In this morning's newspaper: Yale University has completed the first large-scale study of the five stages of grieving. The study has validated the five stages we have known of: disbelief, yearning, anger, depression and acceptance.

While those of us here currently suffering a loss might be in no frame of mind to look at the clinical aspect of grieving, it can help to reaffirm that the process we are experiencing is normal, though heartbreakingly difficult.

If you want read more, the link to the article is below. Or you can go to the current Journal of the American Medical Association where the study was published.

Best wishes to all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Yale grieving study

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alisande

Hi Susan,

I read just a little about the study this morning, as follows:

The negative emotions of grief -- yearning, depression, and anger -- following the death of a family member from natural causes usually peak within six months.

Grief that lingers for longer than six months "suggests the need for further evaluation of the bereaved survivor and potential referral for treatment," said Paul K. Maciejewski, Ph.D., of Yale, and colleagues.

In a bereavement study of 233 mourners, reported in the Feb. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Yale investigators also debunked the stage-theory of grief, (my emphasis) which is widely accepted and taught in medical schools.

That's as far as I got, but it sounds contrary to what you read, doesn't it? My info came from MedPage Today. I'll have to look into it further, but at first glace I have to say I was surprised at the six-month figure and irritated at the quote.

I'm thinking a couple of terms need to be defined. "Natural causes," for instance. Also "family member" (there's a big difference between losing an elderly parent and losing a child) and "grief" itself. I don't expect to ever stop grieving for my daughter, although I function pretty well and no longer cry every day.

Susan

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 8:57PM
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socks

Susan

I also questioned that 6-month time period, then the need for "further evaluation." Like a grief-stricken person should be "well" in 6 months!

Of course, you will never stop grieving for your daughter. I am so sorry for the heartache you live with every day.

The article I read said Yale confirmed the stages. I've tried to link to the JAMA website where the study was published, but it seems not to be working tonight. I'll see if I can get a link to it tomorrow and put it here.

Thanks for your input.

Susan too.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:08PM
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theroselvr

If anyone else would like to read it without registering, use the link below.

Haven't read it yet but going to. Thanks

Here is a link that might be useful: Study affirms pattern of 5 stages of grief

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:27AM
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socks

Here's the JAMA article, probably more than anyone is in the mood to read!

Here is a link that might be useful: JAMA grieving

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 11:19AM
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asencion

Socks could not read the article. Wanted me to fill out an application for the Chicago Tribune, to much this and that to read on something important to me. Ascencion

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 7:28AM
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ladysmom

SIX MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!! HOW ABOUT A LIFETIME.. SLAM A SOUND PROOF DOOR ON SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND THEN REALIZE NOTHING YOU CAN DO IN THIS WORLD CAN REOPEN THAT DOOR. AND THEN COME BACK AND GIVE YOURSELF A TIME FRAME OF SIX MONTHS...
UNTIL YOU WALK A MILE IN A GRIEF STRICKEN PERSONS SHOES
FIND SOMETHING ELSE WORTH WISE TO STUDY...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 3:17AM
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jenn

It's interesting that the study distinguishes "natural causes". Losing a family member due to an accident has its own set of issues, questions, and circumstances to process, accept, and overcome. In the case of an accident, initial grief is shrouded behind a very thick layer of shock that buffers you from cold hard grief which would be too overwhelming after an accidental death. Gradually, the shock subsides (and that can take months) and is replaced by more feelings of grief.

Also, I found the grief process to be cyclical, not a simple straight line. But each time I cycle back to a previous stage, it doesn't hit me as hard as the previous time. In that sense, the healing process is a straight line but the "stages" per se don't always (or ever?) necessarily happen in a neat little sequence. They can be all over the map. However, acceptance should take place for optimum healing and good health.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:56PM
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