The psychological consequences generated by the search for a missing loved one

in #familyprotection3 years ago (edited)


Every time an individual,his family and the society of which he is a part, are involved in the disappearance of one of his members, this generates overwhelming consequences for all of them, having momentary but also lasting effects over time. I would like to share with you from the most usual emotional signals, going through certain maladaptive behaviors until reaching severe psychological imbalances such as posttraumatic syndrome, derealization, and a psychotic outbreak.

When an individual that is part of our social network disappears, we feel fear, anxiety and even ignorance regarding the reaction and attitude that we must execute, when mothers lose a child they run throughout the city, full of anguish and without realizing it where they arrive, to those who ask and there are others who simply collapse in the place where the disappearance occurred and from there they do not stop, there are those who hit objects, they cause disasters in their homes, they scream, or they simply remain absorbed looking at the void, As if waiting for something to happen, others also do not detach from the cell phone while waiting for encouraging news.

There is no formula to determine what will be the emotional manifestations of an individual that passes through this situation but, if we know so far what happens to those who have lived and what are the usual emotions and those imbalances as well, it is important to know that we can not properly catalog an individual as psychotic for carrying out aggressive or disproportional behaviors, when this incident occurs, because in psychology there is something called reactive behavior, this refers to the response of an individual to a specific situation that I generate in the emotional demands, that effectively could not respond in an appropriate way.

Usual imbalances

Posttraumatic stress disorder

After being exposed to a situation that increases the stress levels considerably and is interpreted by the organism as a threat, or also having happened to a loved one, images, memories and recurrent thoughts with stressful content begin to appear, it is important to express that This appearance is totally involuntary and repetitive, likewise the individual presents an uneasy dream accompanied by nightmares, in the same way related to the traumatic scene, on the other hand the affected one can on occasions have a behavior very similar to the one he had in the event, All of the above mentioned causes physiological reactions such as sweating, increased heartbeat.

After suffering the manifestations exposed in advance, the subject tries at all costs, making his best effort to avoid such intrusive thoughts, evoke the event but, does not succeed. Consequently, prolonged psychological discomfort is experienced when exposed to internal or eternal factors that in some way can lead to evoke the event.


In many opportunities due to the trauma suffered, individuals perform behaviors that are not expected, among these is, as mentioned at the beginning, hit, cause destrosos, even tearing the hair, scream very strong, in general terms we can confuse it with a psychotic episode, since the individio denotes having more force than usual, however, it is characteristic of the situation that crosses, it is then a conglomerate of reactive symptoms.

Anxiety crisis

It is characterized by an anxious reaction and is accompanied by certain physiological manifestations such as breathing and agitated heartbeat, sweating, tremors, even a fading sensation, this is accompanied by certain catastrophic thoughts about dying, in other words, suffering from a heart attack, fainting. , other people suffer from chills or flushing, nausea or certain gastric manifestations, likewise a sensation of drowning. As a primordial sign panic attacks are characterized by the recurrent idea of ​​going crazy or not having control of oneself.


There are several types of depression but in this case we are concerned by social sources such as the disappearance of a loved one, these people experience a feeling of sadness that is accompanied by deficit in the rhythm of sleep, appetite, energy, concentration, behavior, self-esteem and the most alarming thing is that suicidal thoughts are provoked by feelings of worthlessness and invalidity.

Attacks of anger

The subject is dull on an emotional level, due to the own demands of the traumatic event we can add an education lacking in assertiveness and empathy to have the skills to establish social relationships and in this case a consistent support network, due to this, experience the frustration which externalizes in aggression towards their environment in an excessive way, since at that moment who dominates their being is the brain tonsil and is not capable of bringing these emotions to consciousness.


Due to the discomfort that the person experiences, to that continuous desire to wait for news, due to ignorance, even for suffering ideas that pierce his mind, many individuals who experience the disappearance of a loved one stop sleeping, this generates consequences in their system immunological and limbic, appetite is absent, as is motivation, and emotional ambivalence or the pole of negative emotions is frequent.

Obsessive ideas

These ideas are rich in traumatic content, are composed of the continuous evocation that the individual makes about the event, paying special attention to the details, trying to reconstruct the event. However when they become obsessive ideas, people have no control over the appearance of them, they are simply present again and again, drilling the mind and generating considerable psychological distress.

There is no specific way to get ahead of this phenomenon, however, you can take into consideration that having a social support network reduces the emotional burden that a person goes through, in the same way, when you feel that you are over, consult a specialist , we will be willing to help you.

Psychologist Marynés Palma


I always wanted to study psychology, thanks for this master class and the explanation of the usual imbalances when we lose someone

thanks to you for reading, maybe you may be interested my latest publication is a video in Dtube about aggression and its bases, but it is in Spanish