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Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a type of stress that lasts for up to 13 days if handled properly and for months or years if not handled well after an acute stress. It can be a serious disorder. The reference to mourning a death can be found in the Vedic literature. There is a custom that the grieved partner is made to weep till she or he is overwhelmed with emotions. In fact, all relatives and friends participate in the exercise, depending upon their respective closeness to the deceased. After the antim yatra, the grieving person is made to sit for 90 minutes every day as a part of the ceremony, which either ends on chautha or tervi where again everybody known gather together. Thereafter, normal activities of life are resumed. In some sections of the society, there is also a custom of shaving the head or donating hair or wearing white clothes. Is there a scientific explanation for these customs? The plausible explanations are many and are based on the observation that a grieving person may go into depression, which if not treated properly may last for months together, or even forever. For example, the acute stress after the death of somebody very close will be called acute traumatic stress and the condition PTSD.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.