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By Austyn Wells, author of Soul Conversations

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” ― Rabindranath Tagore

Editor’s note: This is the second half of a two-part Q&A with Sameet Kumar, PhD, author of Mindfulness for Prolonged Grief. If you missed the first half, you can check it out here.

Following changes to the DSM-5, most significantly the removal of the “bereavement exclusion” from diagnoses of depression and adjustment disorder, is there a potential now for the increased “medicalization” of those suffering with grief?

In his new book, Mindfulness for Prolonged Grief: A Guide to Healing after Loss When Depression, Anxiety, and Anger Won't Go Away, Sameet Kumar, PhD, highlights the importance of exercise as a part of the grief healing process. Research continues to show that exercise can be neuroprotective, meaning exercise can actually help protect the brain from the effects of aging and distressing mood states (Kramer et al. 2005).

Last week we talked about the role that dreams can play in the process of grieving the loss of a loved one. Dreams can complicate the process by disrupting the client’s normal sleep patterns.

Grief is a complex issue to treat. The practice of mindfulness meditation can give the client a greater sense of awareness and well-being in a grieving client’s waking life, but trouble sleeping due to disturbing dreams is a common symptom that can take a toll on her emotional and physical reserves.

Before the newest revision to the DSM was released this summer, the DSM-IV contained a grief clause which stated that neither adjustment disorders nor depression could be diagnosed immediately following a significant death on the grounds that such symptoms were considered a normal part of the bereavement process.

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