By removing the "bereavement exclusion" from what had been considered the bible of the mental health world, the DSM's editors risk undermining bereavement as a universal, normal, if profoundly painful, experience.
So why do we love our pets so much? Let me answer as a dog owner, even though this list may attest to cats, birds, hamsters, snakes, horse, chickens or whatever other pet an owner may share his or her life with.
Based on my years treating patients who have dealt with the loss of a loved one and my personal experience with my husband's death, I know there are many complicated emotions that one can experience when dealing with late-stage illness and death.
Memories are like gold nuggets, nuggets with sharp edges that eventually wear smooth. During the first year or two of grief, memories may be painful, only highlighting the loved one's absence. However, over time, a shift begins to occur.
When it was revealed Monday that 8-year-old Martin Richard was one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, Aren Almon Kok felt an immediate, sickening tightness in her gut. She's never met the Richard family and lives nearly 2,000 miles away.
How do we wake to a new day and move forward? What do we say to ourselves, to each other, to our children? Sadly, no explanation can make sense of this mindless devastation. Nonetheless, there are some things we can do to take care of ourselves and to take care of each other.
Grieving and healing from any twin loss must begin with a search for an individual identity in order for the twinless one to feel safe enough to acknowledge and integrate the experience of the death of their twin and the severance of the twin bond.
It is clear that I must now make a new home for myself within my own heart. There I must create a door that is always open, a light that burns eternally, a spark that cherishes my name, and a blessing of continual self-forgiveness.
I can't say that my father was ready for death or that any of us was ready for him to go. But I believe that thanks to hospice care, and some miracle of timing and life force and will that I will never quite understand, my dad's death was as beautiful as a death can be.
By opening to his own grief instead of armoring himself with anger, Justin was finally able to start the healing process. His grief had never gone away; it had just been hidden. Once he was willing to open to it and feel it, his own sorrow could show him the way home to peace.
Instead of trying to change your feelings (as cognitive therapy attempts to do), change how you choose to view your thoughts. Practicing this way, we can notice what's without immediately reacting, thus become better to choose how we want to react.
When dad reached his 70s, he was diagnosed with Emphysema, now called COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. No matter what they called it and no matter what the symptoms, dad's years were being cut short because he smoked.
Last summer after my grandma passed away, I had a conversation with my mom about whether or not it's a good idea to return to your childhood home after you've moved out and on with your life. "I know I never could because I knew it wouldn't be the same," she said.
If you can pay attention, and let yourself hurt, it will open you up to living life more meaningfully. By knowing we don't have forever here or with someone, we can learn to appreciate the people in our lives more, to love more, and to be more open with what people mean to us.
One of the most important aspects of being human is the fact that we have feelings -- all day long. And yet, rarely are we taught healthy ways to cope with them. Who among us learned about coping with emotions in school?
It's easy to feel defeated and sorry for yourself when challenges in life arise, however, you can take another approach. While you may not be able to always control what happens in life, you can always choose how to react to it.