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Unresolved bereavement: medical reenactment of a loved one's terminal illness.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Postgraduate medicine
Publication Date
Volume
72
Issue
1
Pages
172–179
Identifiers
PMID: 7088742
Source
Medline

Abstract

In our psychiatric practice in Seattle, we have found several cases of complicated bereavement in which the patient has been unable to accept the death of her mother for an unusually long time and, consequently, continues to complain of physical symptoms similar to those of her mother. These patients initially sought medical care from primary care physicians, who tried to treat the symptoms without considering the cause. In some instances, needless medical and even surgical procedures were pursued to no avail. We believe that such patients usually require only referral for psychiatric care, which unfortunately often is palliative but not curative.

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