Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thursday's Therapy - 30 Major Reactions Physically Indicating Anxiety After Your Child's Traumatic Death ~Therese A. Rando, PhD, Complicated Mourning

Thursday's Therapy

30 Major Reactions Physically Indicating


After Your Child's Traumatic Death

~Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., Complicated Mourning, Part Seven

The following are just the physiological symptoms you may have in your Child-loss Grief that will lead toward Anxiety. (We will examine symptoms that lead to depression, etc. next week.) I have been shocked when I have exhibited many of these anxious-type symptoms, and yet, it stands to reason:

Never in my life have I been subjected to such torment as I have in losing my child, losing her suddenly, and losing her violently.

Why should I be surprised my poor body is reeling and anxious over such a tormenting experience?!

30 Major Reactions Physically Indicating Anxiety After the Traumatic Death of Your Child

Motor Tension

  • Trembling, shaking, twitching, nervous energy, "jumpy," foot/leg shaking, finger drumming
  • Muscle tension, aches, soreness
  • Teeth grinding, clenched jaw
  • Easily fatigued, exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Restlessness and searching for something to do

Autonomic Hyperactivity (Being "revved up")

  • Anxiety, tension, nervousness
  • Heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat
  • Shallow and rapid breathing, shortness of breath
  • Numbness, tingling sensations
  • Smothering sensations
  • Dizziness, unsteady feelings, faintness, lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating or cold, clammy hands
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Chest pain, pressure, or discomfort
  • Nausea, diarrhea, other abdominal distress
  • Frequent urination
  • Tightness in the throat, difficulty swallowing, feeling of something stuck in the throat, choking
  • Digestive disturbance (such as upset stomach)
  • Stress cardiomyopathy (aka "broken heart syndrome" - when you feel all the symptoms of a heart attack but it is not an actual heart attack

Vigilance and Scanning

  • Heightened arousal (hyperarousal)
  • Agitation
  • Sense of being "geared up"
  • Easily startled
  • Irritability, outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Impaired concentration
  • Heightened awareness of surroundings in order to be "on guard" (hypervigilance)
  • Physiologic reactivity upon exposure to events, stimuli, and/or internal or external cues that remind you of the loved one, the death, events associated with it, and/or other painful reactions to the loss

~Rando, 2011 (In Press)

From lecture of Therese A. Rando, Ph.D, BCETS, BCBT July 9-10, 2010 in "Clinical Interventions in Grief and Mourning," and "Intervening After Sudden and Traumatic Death: Contending with a Special Type of Complicated Mourning," used with permission of the author


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