Grief and Bereavement Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Grief and Bereavement article.

Adrenaline: A stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heart bea...

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Anticipation: The progressively earlier appearance and increased severity of a disease fro...

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Anticipatory grief: The normal mourning that occurs when a patient or family is expecting ...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Bereavement: The period after a loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs...

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Breast cancer: Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the brea...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Complicated grief: Grief that is complicated by adjustment disorders (especially depressed...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Family physician: A physician who is educated and trained in family practice.

Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Forensic: Dealing with the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems and legal...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Grief: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death...

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Hair loss: Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss ...

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Hallucination: A profound distortion in a person's perception of reality, typically accomp...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Intern: In medicine, a doctor who has completed medical school and is engaged in a year of...

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Jaw: The movable junction of the bones below the mouth (the mandible) and the bone just ab...

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer kills more m...

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Medical school: A school with a curriculum leading to a medical degree. The mission of eve...

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Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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Mourning: The process by which people adapt to a loss as, for example, the death of someon...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine...

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Pediatrics: The field of medicine that is concerned with the health of infants, children, ...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Piercing: Using a sharp instrument, usually a needle, to make a temporary or permanent ...

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Psychiatrist: A physician who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of m...

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Psychiatry: The medical specialty that is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and tr...

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Resolution: In genetics, the degree of molecular detail on a physical map of DNA. Resoluti...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide. the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, su...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Unresolved grief: Grief characterized by the extended duration of the symptoms, by interfe...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

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