Loss: The Characteristic’s Review

Loss is an inherent characteristic of every aspect in life. It refers to depreciation in value or attenuation in the physical number. Loss is mainly associated with negative effectives, which may subsequently affect the health and life of an individual (Den, 2007). This study brings into perspective different terms that are essential in understanding meaning of loss. The terms that are deemed critical for understanding the word loss include the following:


Bereavement is the time span taken by an individual to adjust to changes in life or in the environment after a loss. Bereavement occurs after the death of a loved one or somebody so close to someone like a friend or relative. There is no standard recovery period in bereavement. The period of adjustment depends on individual behavior, feelings, and attitudes. However, bereavement may take a long period of time and may lead to various health complications (Shear, 2005).

To handle bereavement, individuals should seek the guidance and counseling from health care experts who are specialized in such issues. Individuals suffering from a loss should be ready to share their experience with other people. Moreover, the most important aspect in handling bereavement is the willingness to accept the loss (Den, 2007).

Uncomplicated Bereavement

Unlike bereavement that is associated with the loss of someone in life, uncomplicated bereavement is a character that is common among children. It is a state where someone does not want to associate with others after the loss. For example, children suffering from uncomplicated bereavement tend to dissociate from their classmates, loses attention, and may become rebellious towards the parents and friends. Adults and children tend to react in different ways in uncomplicated bereavement. Children may exhibit the symptoms intermittently while adults are very consistent in their behavior during bereavement (Shear, 2005).


Grief is the response of human beings towards loss. The response towards loss is exhibited by emotional behavior of an individual. Moreover, the magnitude of emotional response depends on the value of the loss. Things that are highly valued are likely to attract high level of emotional discomfort. Unlike bereavement that is mainly associated with loss of other people, grief may occur in some situations where someone has relocated to a strange environment, retirement, and changes in the work environment (Den, 2007).

Grief has symptoms which include sadness, disbelief, fear, guilt and anger. Other symptoms of grief include emotional symptoms such as nausea, weight loss, fatigue, insomnia, and body pain. Overcoming grief requires an individual to access support from family members, friends, and relatives. It is also important to accept the loss in order to overcome grief (Den, 2007).

Complicated Grief

Complicated grief occurs when an individual is not able to resume the normal way of life after the loss. It is a situation when individuals take more than six months to bereave the loss of something. Complicated grief is associated with isolation, confused thoughts, and emotional discomforts. A complicated grief can be eliminated by putting the patient under guidance and counseling program (Shear, 2005).

Prolonged Grief

Prolonged grief is unusual type of grief that may persist for a long period of time after the loss. Individuals suffering from prolonged grief may sometimes lack the opportunity to recover and lead a normal life. In this situation, the affected individual pays more attention to the loss compared to other issues in life. Unlike complicated loss, prolonged loss has serious symptoms that include bitterness, difficulty in trusting others, and identity confusion. Prolonged grief can be solved by proper diagnostic approaches that are established by the psychiatric (Shear, 2005).

Traumatic Grief

Traumatic grief is a prolonged grief that is extended beyond the ordinary morning period. The grief in this case is very extreme and has effect on important elements such as relationships, employment and education. In traumatic grief, the affected individual is not ready to accept the loss and therefore experiences uncontrollable desire for the lost item or person (Den, 2007).

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised grief is effect that results from the loss of something that has low value or less significant to the individuals in the society. For example, the death of pet may cause disenfranchised grief. This type of grief may not have significant impacts in one’s life and can easily be managed (Shear, 2005).

Primary Loss

Primary loss is the direct effect that is associated with the event that causes the loss. Primary loss results to direct effects on the body. For instance, injury of the brain results to primary losses such as personality shifts, and cognitive difficulties (Den, 2007).

Secondary Loss

Secondary loss is the subsequent effect that stems from primary loss. For example, in the case of brain injury the secondary loss in this case may include difficulties in handling normal activities and other physical challenges (Shear, 2005).

Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous loss is a type of loss that is not easy to understand. The loss in this case may not cause grief since it is difficult to identify. In some situations the loss may not be felt especially in circumstances where the affected individual is not informed of the loss. Ambiguous loss takes place in two different ways that include physical presence and psychological absence of the individual and physical absence and psychological presence of the lost person (Shear, 2005).


Mourning is the behavior or activities exhibited by individuals in the event of a loss. Unlike grief which entails the feelings and emotions, mourning entails actions that are used to express the feelings (Den, 2007).


Den, B. (2007). Treatment of complicated grief: A comparison between cognitive- behavioral therapy and supportive counseling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2(45), 59-67.

Shear, K. (2005). Treatment of complicated grief: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 4(21), 78-84.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Loss: The Characteristic’s Review'. 12 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Loss: The Characteristic’s Review." September 12, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/loss-the-characteristics-review/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Loss: The Characteristic’s Review." September 12, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/loss-the-characteristics-review/.


PsychologyWriting. "Loss: The Characteristic’s Review." September 12, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/loss-the-characteristics-review/.