Homeopathic and psychiatric perspectives on grief.
OBJECTIVE: This review describes the homeopathic analysis of grief and common remedies corresponding to this reaction. Homeopathic descriptions of grief are compared with contemporary psychiatric criteria. DATA SOURCES: Each homeopathic rubric (i.e., symptom) is identified on the basis of a computerized repertory search, grouped according to body systems, and compared with a current set of operational criteria derived from the psychiatric literature. The major homeopathic remedies for grief are identified. STUDY SELECTION: One hundred four rubrics for grief were found, incorporating mental and physical symptoms as well as physical disease. DATA SYNTHESIS: Homeopathic phenomenology of grief was closely matched with its current psychiatric definition. A close correspondence was seen between psychiatry and homeopathy, even though each has a differing heritage and temporal origin. The correspondence of a later descriptive system (i.e., psychiatry) to an earlier, independently derived system (i.e., homeopathy) confers validation to both systems' description of the grief response. CONCLUSION: The similarities and differences between homeopathic and psychiatric descriptions of grief have been noted. Similar forms of grief response are recognized by both systems, though homeopathy provides a more extensive list of physical sequelae following bereavement. Controlled trials of homeopathy in grief states are recommended.
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