What Are the Signs of Complicated Grief Disorder?

The loss of a loved one is among the most painful and, unfortunately, common situations that people go through. Most grieving or suffering people go through a period of sadness, apathy, or even guilt and rage. However, these sensations normally fade over time, and it becomes possible to accept death and move forward.

Feelings of loss can be debilitating for some people, and they don’t get better with time. Complicated grieving, often known as persistent complex bereavement disorder, is used to describe this. In complicated grieving, painful emotions stay so long and are so intense that it’s difficult to heal from the loss and resume your own life.

Different people go through the grief process in different ways. These phases may occur in any sequence or at any time, depending on the individual:

  • Accepting the loss.
  • Allowing yourself to feel the sadness of your loss is essential.
  • Getting used to the fact that the departed is no longer around.
  • Having additional connections and relationships.

These variations are to be expected. However, if you cannot go through these stages longer than a year following a loved one’s death, you may be experiencing complicated grief. If this is the case, you should seek medical help. It can assist you in learning to cope with your loss and regaining a sense of calm and acceptance.


Most of the symptoms and signs of normal grief are similar to those of complicated grief during the first few weeks after a death. On the other hand, symptoms of complicated grieving remain or worsen over time, whereas normal sorrow symptoms fade over time. Complicated grief is a state of continuous, heightened sadness that prevents you from recovering.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of complicated anguish:

  • Sorrow, anguish, and ruminating about the death of a loved one.
  • Concentrate solely on the death of your loved one.
  • Excessive concentration on or avoiding reminders of the lost one.
  • Pining or longing for the deceased is intense and continuous.
  • Difficult in accepting the death.
  • Detachment or numbness
  • Your bitterness from your loss.
  • Feeling as if life is devoid of meaning and purpose.
  • Lack of confidence in others
  • Inability to appreciate life or reminisce about happy times spent with a loved one.

If you keep doing these things, it could be a sign of complicated grief:

  • Finding it difficult to go about your daily routines.
  • Isolating yourself from others and avoiding social activities.
  • Depression, intense sadness, self-blame, or guilt.
  • Considering whether you made a mistake or could have avoided the death.
  • Feeling as if life isn’t meaningful without your beloved one.
  • Wishing you and your loved one had died together.


What causes complicated grief is not well understood. It may include your surroundings, personality, hereditary qualities, and your natural chemical makeup in the body, as it does with most mental health illnesses.

Risk factors

Complicated grieving is more common in women and people who are older. Complicated grieving can be triggered by several factors, including:

  • A sudden or tragic death, such as that caused by a vehicle accident or a loved one’s murder or suicide.
  • A child’s death.
  • Relationship to the departed individual that was close or dependent.
  • The loss of a supportive family member or friendships can lead to social isolation.
  • Separation anxiety, history of depression, or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • Neglect or abuse as a youngster.
  • Other big life stressors, including significant financial difficulties.


It’s unclear how to avoid complicated grief. However, counseling quickly after a loss may be beneficial. In addition, caregivers giving end-of-life support for a loved one may also benefit from therapy and assistance to help them prepare for loss and the emotional aftermath.

• Talking: Allowing yourself to mourn and speaking about your sorrow might also help you avoid becoming entrenched in your despair. As unpleasant as it may be, trust that if you let yourself experience it, your suffering will begin to subside.

• Support: friends, family members, social support organizations, and your religious community are all terrific resources for assisting you in your grieving process. You might be able to discover a support group dedicated to a certain sort of loss, like the death of a child or spouse.

• Bereavement Counseling: You can examine feelings around your loss and gain healthy coping strategies through immediate counseling after a loss. This may aid in preventing negative beliefs and thoughts from taking root and becoming tough to overcome.



Mental Health

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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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