the short-term reaction to a loss is a reliable predictor for adjustment in the future ( Parkes and Weiss, 1983; Zisook and Devaul, 1983; Johnsonet al. 1986).
In the foregoing discussion, the severity of suicide as a risk factor in bereavement has been put in perspective, by means of a comparison with loss after traffic fatalities. This in no way is meant to minimise the severity of bereavement after suicide. Rather, it stresses the fact that bereavement as such is a risk factor in the development of social, psychological, and physical problems ( Stroebe and Stroebe, 1987). However, these risks must not be exaggerated in the case of suicidal loss so that all survivors of suicide have to expect devastating consequences. This can lead survivors to worry unnecessarily, and care-givers can react with over-anxiousness. In both cases, the much-feared 'suicide survivor syndrome' can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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