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Have you ever given news which stunned your patient?

Have you ever been stunned?

How does a stunned person feel?

Patients may use the word stunned to show disbelief at some news they have just heard. It is similar to shock but to understand the difference, it is good to understand the other use of ‘stun’.

To stun someone means to knock them unconscious perhaps by a blow to the head. They become temporarily unconscious.

When stunned is used as an adjective, it is giving a similar impression. For a few seconds or even minutes, the person is motionless while they attempt to process the news they have received. Stunned can be used for positive news as in the example above but also negative news such as when you hear news of the unexpected death of an acquaintance.