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This condition is not only associated with the loss of a person through death, bereavement can be used to describe similar symptoms suffered as a result of marital separation, loss of a home or familiar environment, death of a pet, ending of a romantic relationship or forced emigration.

The symptoms of bereavement are similar to depression but the cause is known, and it is a natural reaction to an evident loss.

Insomnia, agitation, sweating, bowel changes, hyperventilation and palpitations, mood swings of highs and lows are some of the bereavement symptoms. These are normal reactions to an extremely distressing event and must be allowed to run their course, as they will disappear or lessen greatly with time.

Some people may not experience these symptoms immediately after the event, and may experience them some months later and not recognize the connection. There is no time scale as to when bereavement will occur and when recovery will be reached. The important factor is to recognize the symptoms and to know how to deal with it.

Seek help always from your G.P, friends and relatives, groups such as Cruise (nos. in telephone directory), be willing to share your feelings and the condition will lessen with time. If however it continues longer than seems natural and your work or family is suffering, always seek professional help from initially your G.P who can advise you appropriately.

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