Recognizing the Anticipatory Grief of Terrorism

All of us go through anticipatory grief–a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded even occurs. You may experience this form of grief early or later in life. The Paris attack and other attacks may spark anticipatory grief, a feeling so powerful that it can take over your life if you let it. So be on the alert for anticipatory grief (AG). optimal

When does it strike? If your baby was born with a heart defect you probably felt AG. If your teenager is hooked on drugs you’ve felt it. If your adult child is in the military and serving in a war zone you feel it now. If your parent is in hospice you feel AG big time. And if you saw the television of the Paris attack you started to have these feelings.

Years go, after September 11th, 7mgg I wrote a book about anticipatory grief with Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist. One chapter focused on the grief associated with terrorism, a timely topic to say the least. This chapter applies to recent events around the world. Understanding anticipatory grief will help you cope with it. Here are some things to know.

Anticipatory grief has many symptoms. These symptoms include emotional numbness, anxiety, mood swings, ongoing feeling of sadness, anger, aslremodeling depression, ambivalent feelings, poor concentration, forgetfulness, feeling of vulnerability, hyperactivity (an attempt to avoid AG), poor eating habits, fatigue and exhaustion, feeling disconnected and alone.

Your thoughts bounce around. One minute you find yourself worrying about the future and the next minute you’re thinking about the past and your childhood.Television news bulletins bring you back to the present. Having your thoughts bounce around constantly can be disturbing. You wouldn’t be the first person to think you’re going crazy. inpix

Anticipatory grief casts a big shadow. Seeing the carnage caused by terrorists sparks instant grief. You worry about the survivors, how terrorism affects children, the safety of the nation, and your personal safety. As the shadow grows larger and darker, you wonder if terrorism will find you. “Is my community safe?” you ask.

Suspense and fear become part of life. Terrorism has one purpose, to cause bone-chilling fear. You can develop a What’s next?” mentality before you know it. Fortunately, humans, including you, have the power to counter this corrosive thinking. When a negative thought comes to mind, bocoranadminriki try to balance it with a positive one. This shift in thinking is hard to do at first, but gets easier with practice.

Have a plan. Michael Osterholm, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of Minnesota, More sites visit here:-  thinks every family should have a terrorism plan: a central meeting place, redundant systems, and a back-up plan. Every family member should have a copy of the plan. Osterholm shared these ideas with the Minnesota Medical Association Alliance on Sept. 19, 2002 at the Radisson Metrodome Hotel in Minneapolis.

Learn about causes. Knowing the causes of global terrorism can help you to clarify and focus your thoughts. Read some of the new books about terrorism (there are dozens of them), online and print articles, and online videos about its causes. Knowledge really is power and learning the true causes of terrorism can empower you. Use this power to your advantage.

Live your values every day. Terrorists want you to abandon your values and way of life and abide by theirs. You can combat their goal by continuing to live your values, sticking with a routine that works, laughing when something is funny, and finding joy in the little moments of life, such as a baby’s smile.

You can keep hope alive. Although terrorism may not end in your lifetime, you can still be hopeful, according to Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Sheila Jowsey. As she explains in her article, “Coping with Bioterrorism,” published in a supplement to the Women’s Health Source, January 2002, you can “move from helplessness to helpfulness.”


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