Bereavement Disorder, Eating Disorder and Suicide - Case Study

Published: 2021-07-01
862 words
4 pages
8 min to read
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First Vignette

The case is Cathy's, and she is 28 years old. She walks into the office, wearing a long, elaborate skirt, a big floppy hat with flowers, and a corset top. Though composed, she looks appropriately dressed for a stage play. She doesnt accept the name Cathy, and instead suggests Galactica. From her profile, she is a theater arts graduate student, who has also studied metaphysics and cosmic consciousness for years. The reason she seeks treatment is that her mother recently died, and she is having trouble resolving the grieving process. From her words, she had a complicated relationship with her mother, and she is filled with a certain amount of relief at her mothers death. However, she feels a great deal of guilt over feeling this relief. She cries during the appointment, but stops crying and composes herself well before leaving the office.

In the case presented above, the patient is undergoing a psychological condition known as the Complicated Bereavement Disorder. There are always a 10 to 20% of those that are bereaved that suffer from unremitting reactions. Such reactions lead to a grieving process that is rather complicated and would require a treatment regimen including medical prescription and also counseling. I can conclude the case to be so since the client shows anxiety and clinical depression, there is also an emotional attachment on the deceased even though cases of drug addiction have not been provided in the history. The process of mourning in this situation is chronic and heightened though Galactica portrays that in a different manner (Khoshaba, Deborah). The patient is likely to undergo multiple stressors, mental health conditions, some emotional dependency, or at times, issues related to substance abuse. Most of these cases are likely to increase the chances of a complex bereavement disorder and a necessity for professional treatment. The risk and symptoms that are associated with this psychological condition include:

Absolute focus on the loss which also associates with a constant reminder of the loved one.

Intense pining for the dead

Problems associated with the death case


Getting sorrowful

Bitterness associated with the loss

Not being able to enjoy life

Inability to carry out activities normally

Irritability and agitation

Treatment in this occasion involves offering therapy. Some of the therapies given would include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This kind of therapy is important because it is geared towards helping the client change the irrational thoughts and retrieve the reality of the situation into full awareness geared towards reducing yearnings or rather results to the weakening of pleasure (Khoshaba, Deborah).

Exposure Therapy

This kind of therapy is intended to expose the patient to the events or those people who constitute their lives. It is also crucial in helping the griever to mark times allocated for grieving.

Meaning Therapy

Through meaning therapy, Galactica (through her grieving process) can be able to make sense of her mothers death. Such is possible through understanding and accommodating her mothers death.

Second Vignette

The case concerns a 20-year-old college student called Kaity. She has been referred for treatment by her physician (Khoshaba, Deborah). The first sign of distress on her is emaciation. Her face also looks sunken and lack color. She cant make eye contact and curls up in the chair while hiding beneath her baggy, old sweatshirt. She cant begin a dialogue, so I take the liberty. What has been indicated is that she is suspected to undergo eating disorder. The reason for the disorder is of weight.

Kaity feels sick, depressed and nauseated when eating. Symptoms that are associated with nausea and loss of appetite are always an expression associated with many conditions. They are always an indication that something in the body is off balance. Due to such a case, ensuring that the issue is addressed from the cause rather than suppressing the symptoms would be very fundamental in Kaitys case (Berman, Rebecca). However, nausea may be as a result of Kaity suffering from anxiety or depression. The two causes of nausea should, therefore, be investigated before any aggressive treatments are commenced. The process is to ensure that the physician avoids offering long-term medication for nausea because such may be potentially harmful. In our case, the eating disorders that are associated with depression and mood swings are bulimia, anorexia, and binge (Berman, Rebecca). They are also related to medical complications and are life threatening forms of illnesses. In Kaity's case, she is having may be attempted to commit suicide. Because the best way to help Kaity is to understand the level of suicidality associated with her eating disorder, it must be kept in mind that:

She is feeling hopeless and unworthy.

Her sense of reality is distorted.

She is malnourished and unclear of thoughts.

She is battling with her disordered thoughts.

She feels trapped in her thoughts.

Kaity thinks that she is not good enough though the sense for yearning perfection is not the case. It is, therefore, crucial for Kaity to receive treatment and therapy in an appropriate care level and also be introduced to a multi-disciplinary team (Berman, Rebecca).


Work Cited

Khoshaba, Deborah. "About Complicated Bereavement Disorder." Psychology today, 2013,

Berman, Rebecca. "Eating Disorders And Suicide." Eating Disorder Hope, 2017,


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