By A. M. Halpern, Amy Miller, Margaret Langdon
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Extra info for Kar?úk: Native Accounts of the Quechan Mourning Ceremony
Other frequently expressed reactions were fear of death or going mad, hopelessness, anxiety, depression, suspiciousness, anger, irritability and concern about new responsibilities. As in other studies, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness and tension were often noted as being problems for the bereaved. When this group was followed up six months after their bereavement, most of the distressing responses to loss had diminished and continued to do so until the last contact three to five years later. Battin et al.
Projection is defined as a process by which an individual 'imagines specific impulses, wishes, aspects of the self or internal objects to be located in some person or object external to himself', and identification as a process by which he 'either extends his identity into someone else, borrows his identity from someone else, or fuses his identity with someone else' (p. 26). Pincus refers to these processes as explaining the association between past relationships and experiences, the development of personality, present functioning, and responses to loss.
An adult who suffers bereavement may well regress to the child's primitive state, where fear of abandonment and anguish that loss is a punishment for his own badness are considered to be major determinants of behaviour. How does this help us? The short answer to this question is, not very much! From the psychoanalytic point of view, loss causes some imbalance in the individual's inner psychic world. The emphasis may be on disintegration of the ego, movement of libido, regression to a child-like state, primitive fears of destructiveness and Knowledge about Dying and Bereavement 43 abandonment or the association between largely unconscious experiences and feelings, personality development and relationships.