Should grieving be considered a psychiatric disorder? How do you define grief? How do you counsel or minister to those who are grieving? Can/should grief be medicated?
Grieving should not be considered as a disorder. Grieving is as natural as quickly withdrawing a finger because of pain. Grieving is a response to an emotional pain and thank God, He so designed humans to grieve. I am of the thinking that if a person does not grieve, he/she should be a candidate for the couch in the psychiatrist’s office. Furthermore it is our responsibility in the community of faith to usher individuals through the various stages of grief, the most critical of which are shock and disbelief.
In pastoral care we have learned that talking and touching are ingredients for healing that do not require medicine and often will eliminate the need for a psychiatrist. Therefore, we make ourselves available and we listen in a non-judgmental way and we give a lot of hugs.