Complicated Grief: When You Have Difficulties in Grieving
What is Complicated Grief?
When grief lasts longer than usual, is more intense than usual, interferes with daily functioning, and prevents the mourner from moving on, it is called complicated grief. It is grief that has not reached resolution because the mourner is stuck somewhere and for some reason in his/her grief.
What are Some Signs of Complicated Grief?
- Constantly focusing on the loss
- Preoccupation with sorrow
- Holding on to the possessions of the deceased
- Avoiding thoughts or reminders of the deceased
- Intense longing for the deceased
- Problems accepting the death
- Fantasies that the person is still alive
- Numbness or detachment
- Bitterness about the loss
- Self blame
- Feeling that life is meaningless
- Inability to enjoy life
- Trouble functioning
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Feeling that life isn’t worth living
- Losing the sense of purpose in life
- Losing your identity without the presence of the loved one
- Wishing you had died along with the loved one
- Having trouble moving on
Factors That Can Make Grief Complicated
- An unexpected or violent death
- Multiple deaths
- Lack of a support system
- Not enough support
- Criticism by the “supportive” people
- Close attachment to or dependency on the deceased
- Ambivalence toward the deceased
- Death by suicide or violence
- Previous unresolved grief
- Previous unresolved trauma
- Feelings of intense guilt
- Identity issues
- Who am I now that he/she is gone?
- Religious issues
- How could God do this to me?
- What did I do that was so bad as to deserve this punishment from God?
Therapy for Complicated Grief
Therapy for complicated grief may involve getting help from a professional, from a psychologist or from a psychiatrist. A psychologist will help the mourner to get unstuck from their grief and will address the troubling issues that are complicating the grief. A psychiatrist may prescribe medications that will provide comfort to the mourner, as the grief process proceeds. Various methods of therapy and various medications are available to help the mourner. And research shows that they are quite successful in what they do.
People with Complicated Grief May Need Extra Help.
|Previous Article||Return to Blog index page||Next Article|