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~ Articles about Journey of Hearts ~

Internet Use for Web-education on the Overlooked Areas of Grief and Loss.
Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS Cole D. Thompson, MA


Unrecognized and untreated acute depression or grief response following a significant loss can result in personal anguish, multiple somatic complaints, functional impairment, over utilization of health care systems, clinical depression, and a risk of suicide. Grief also impacts friends, family, co-workers, employers, and the community of those affected by the loss. Thus the number of individuals impacted by loss, grief and depression is significant.

Journey of Hearts,, a unique, integrative website, emerged after informal discussions with other primary care physicians. Collectively, we were seeing more people ultimately diagnosed with depression, or grief. Changes in medical are resulting in more depressed patients presenting to their primary care physicians. However, the pervasive social stigmatization of depression causes people to seek treatment for a "cold," or "flu," rather admitting the real reason depression or grief. The focus of this website is a unique area, the common experience of grief and loss. The website helps to fill a void in the treatment of depression and grief by providing resources, medical and non-medical, and serving as an adjunctive Internet resource available at anytime.

Dealing with this unique, emotionally fragile population—those grieving a loss—produces some unique issues and raises several ethical dilemmas in determining the clinical impact of this type of website on this specific population and what the response should be to unsolicited e-mail requests. Additionally some of the current, inherent difficulties encountered in conducting scientific evaluation and research via the use of the Internet are also considered.

Literature Citation:
Dyer KA. Thompson CD. Internet Use for Web-education on the Overlooked Areas of Grief and Loss. CyberPsychology and Behavior. 2000; 3(2):255-270.

CyberPsychology and Behavior
This BiMonthly peer-reviewed journal explores the impact of the Internet, Multi-Media and Virtual Reality on behavior and society. Recommended reading for psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, educators, computer scientists, business executives and opinion-makers interested in the effects of interactive technologies. More information can be found at the publisher's website at: .

Grief impacts the friends, family, co-workers, employers, and the community of those affected by the loss. Thus the number of individuals impacted by loss and grief is significant.

Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS
See the Emergency 911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.

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Last update July 20, 2002