atypical grief reaction

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The transition form normal to abnormal grief is a gradual one and in assessing each case the appropriate question is not "is this normal?" but "what might be expected for this person with this loss?" The same symptoms may occur in normal and abnormal grief but are modified in time and intensity.

Grief may 'abnormal' in one of two ways: - normal grieving may be delayed, inhibited or prolonged. - symptoms, not normally part of normal grieving, may develop and complicate it, sometimes partly replacing or obscuring the grief.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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