Non-Flash version

Frank: Reactions to Grief

Frank lost his wife a month ago. She died in her sleep from a heart attack.

Victim’s response and symptoms

Frank has become but a shadow of his former self since his wife’s death. He constantly thinks back on every important moment that he had with her and cries frequently.

Since the funeral, Frank has become withdrawn. He no longer sees his friends, because to him it makes no sense to see the same people or take part in the same type activities as he used to without his wife.

Frank speaks little and rarely does the things he used to love to do. He simply spends hours thinking about his wife.

He has no plans and feels that the future holds nothing for him.

The psychologist’s observations

Even though Frank has experienced a particularly painful event, this is normal bereavement and not a traumatic event. In certain cases bereavement will have a traumatic characteristic, such as when a person loses someone through a violent death or by suicide. The death of Frank’s wife, although tragic, is part of life; that is, it did not happen in a traumatic context.

Post-traumatic reactions

No evidence of post-traumatic symptoms. Other problems are possible.

Other problems

If his symptoms persist, we could eventually see Frank being possibly diagnosed with depression or with adjustment problems.


Last updated: 1/1/2010 | © info-trauma 2009