27 - How Medications Can Help After a Sudden Death: an Interview With Psychiatrist Dr. Mariel Tourani

In today’s podcast I interview Dr. Mariel Tourani, a psychiatrist who treats people struggling with the aftermath of a sudden or unexpected death. Dr. Tourani shares how she got started in psychiatry, she provides us with an excellent overview about the clinical differences between grief and depression, talks about the diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder and how medication can benefit someone who has experienced a sudden or unexpected death. Dr. Tourani also discusses symptomatology related to sudden or unexpected death, how long most people stay on medications, and she shares a case example that illustrates how our own perception of grief can get in the way of understanding someone else’s experience.

Key points:

Dr. Tourani discusses the distinction between grief and depression and that even though there are specific diagnostic criteria for each it can still be messy at times. However, medication and therapy can be effective with both, especially when used in combination. 

Individuals who experience an unexpected or traumatic loss are at increased risk for prolonged grief disorder. Unexpected death complicates the grieving process and the trauma symptoms that many people experience make grief even more challenging and extend the grief continuum. Although there is no timeline in grief, it usually takes longer to work through and process an unexpected or traumatic death than one that was anticipated.

After a sudden or unexpected death, clients report feelings misunderstood even from their practitioners. Make sure you surround yourself with friends and professionals who take the time to understand your situation and listen to your needs. 

If you want an opportunity to connect with Dr. Tourani please join our Facebook group “Talking about the Podcast Untethered with Dr. Levin.” 

Thank you so much for joining today’s episode of Untethered Healing the Pain After a Sudden Death. Our podcast is now hosted on my website www.therapyheals.com. To learn more about hope and guidance after sudden or unexpected death please visit therapyheals.com and sign up for my new video – Sudden and Unexpected Death is Different:  Caring for yourself & others after unexpected loss. Please visit www.therapyheals.com to sign up.


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