Possible Responses To Loss

Possible Responses to Loss

Physical Responses

  • eating and sleep disorders, headaches, back pain
  • abdominal pain (the angry gut), bowel disorders
  • heart pain and palpitations, blood pressure changes
  • jaw clenching, night grinding
  • infections
  • physical fatigue
  • self-injury, increased suicidal thoughts/behaviors (alcohol, drugs, reckless)


Emotional Responses

  • anxiety, panic, phobias
  • flashbacks
  • guilt, regret
  • anger, specific and generalized
  • a sense of loss of control
  • apathy, depression, pervasive sadness


Behavioral Responses

  • withdrawal
  • hyperactivity, restlessness, pacing aimless movements
  • tightness in throat, chest, sensation of choking, with shortness of breath
  • increased suicidal thoughts
  • increased antisocial behaviors (including violence)


Cognitive (thinking abilities) Responses

  • a sense of numbness
  • periods of alertness followed by decreased ability to pay attention
  • decreased ability to focus, to remember, to make decisions
  • disorganized, “lost,” searching, confused, preoccupied
  • determined to carry on in usual “strict” ways
  • indifferent to everyone and everything
  • negativism, blaming, one-track thinking
  • repetitive statements, “why, why?”
  • de-personalization


Spiritual Responses

  • questioning meaning and purpose in life
  • questioning previously held beliefs of the natural and supernatural order
  • loss of trust – demonstrated in fear and anxiety, unable to take risk
  • loss of hope, feelings of despair, powerlessness
  • feelings of being unworthy, self-doubt
  • feeling unable to give or receive love, desire to drop out of family, society


Comments are closed.