Author(s): Zisook S, Shuchter SR
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Abstract As part of an ongoing panel study, we evaluated 350 widows and widowers at 2 and 7 months following the loss of their spouses. In general, no consistent progression of grief resolution was noted. At 7 months, grief-specific feeling states remain remarkably similar to what they were at 2 months. Anxiety levels remain high and change little from 2 to 7 months. When changes do occur, they are not unidirectional. For example, subjects are about as likely to increase as to decrease their drinking or smoking. Furthermore, depression scores at month 2 correlate well with depression and anxiety scores at month 7. Over 50\% of the subjects were depressed at some time during the study period, but the depression could initially manifest itself at any time during this period. Despite the presence of psychological distress in a significant minority, most bereaved individuals report good health, satisfactory work performance and good adjustment to widowhood.
This article was published in Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research