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Complicated Grief

Complicated Grief

They passed away months ago. I should be moving on with my life. Why am I still so sad?

Many people take a long time to get over the loss of a loved one. Each person’s grief cycle is different, but, according to 4therapy.net, it is normal for a mourning person to take a year to go through the range of grief-related emotions and come to terms with the loss.

Sometimes, however, a person cannot move out of the grief zone and back into normal life. They become stuck. This is a relatively new condition known as “complicated grief”. Doctors say a person suffering from complicated grief is in between the states of normal grief and clinical depression. Although not in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the term has been used for over a decade. Doctors such as Dr. Holly Prigerson are working on getting the condition recognized in the next DSM-V which will be published in 2012.

The 4therapy.net article explains that complicated grief is often the result of inadequate coping after a sudden, traumatic, shameful, or unresolved loss. A list of complicated grief symptoms is also included in this article, and includes such signs as the mourner constantly bringing up themes of death and loss in the midst of the most casual, everyday conversations.

Seek out a therapist if you think you may be suffering from complicated grief. You can definitely make it to the other side of this darkness, but you may need some outside support.

Posted: 5/16/08