Q&A

How Grief Rewires the Brain

How Grief Rewires the Brain

Losing a loved one can make the world feel like it has been turned upside down. Neuroscientist and grief expert, Mary-Frances O’Connor, explains how the brain adjusts to loss and why it’s so very hard.

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What led to your interest in the neuroscience of grief and psychological reactions to loss?
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What happens to our brain during the experience of grief?
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What is your opinion about including Prolonged Grief Disorder in the DSM-5? Is there a risk that we are pathologizing the grief process?
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How is grieving related to depression and how is it different?
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Q
Do you feel that grieving has to be expressed through crying? I have many patients who expect tears and need to be reassured that one can process grief through other means (particularly art therapy, experiential therapy, movement and meditation).
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