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Z Psychosom Med Psychoanal. 1994;40(4):324-30.

[Loss, grief and depression: considerations based on emotion research].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Fachrichtung Psychologie, Universität des Saarlandes.


After clearing up the terminology within the field of bereavement the significance of different types of attachment to the lost object for the mental development after the loss is discussed. Similarities and differences of three phase models of the bereavement process are worked out. The heuristic value of these models is set into balance to the danger of their misuse for nailing down somebody about quality and duration of his "Trauerarbeit". Sadness as an affect is described within an general schema for the understanding and description of emotions. According to this schema affects are depicted internally as specific cognitive structures. The one of the grief affect predisposes to traumatic developments. Intercultural data show that identificatory processes are highly important for a benevolent ending of bereavement processes. The actual tendency to consider such phenomena as pathological is cleared up through a comparison of sadness, depression and depressivity. Departing from different types of attachment, bereavement courses and identificatory processes possible malign endings of bereavement processes are described.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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