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What is “complicated” grief?

Complicated grief refers to a sense of overwhelming, long-lasting, and severe emotional reaction.  It results when prior losses remain unresolved. This protracted and debilitating form of grief prevents individuals from moving on with their lives.

Symptoms of complicated grief include:

  • An extreme focus on the deceased and reminders of the deceased
  • Intense longing for the deceased
  • Problems accepting the death
  • Emotional numbness (~6 months following the suicide)
  • Preoccupation with one’s sorrow
  • Bitterness about one’s loss
  • Sadness
  • Inability to move on with one’s life
  • Difficulty maintaining usual daily activities
  • Viewing life as meaningless
  • Agitation, irritability
  • Lack of trust in others
  • Isolation, avoidance