Medicine: Grief & Health

Doctors may be missing a bet when they insist that grief is a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one, a cherished possession, or a job. In fact, grief itself may be a disease, the University of Rochester's Dr. George L. Engel told the American Psychosomatic Society meeting in Montreal last week.

To the obvious objection that grief is a natural response, Dr. Engel retorted that a wound or a burn is a natural response to physical injury, but that does not make the wounded or burned part "normal." Major difference, he indicated, is that a burned patient goes to...

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