Complicated Grief (CG) is a clinically significant grief reaction that occurs following the death
of a loved one. It has also been called at times Traumatic Grief or Pathological Grief. Individuals with CG may find that
they are unable to accept the death, and that their feelings remain very strong and persistent. In addition, there may be
certain types of disturbing ideas that seem to inhibit the natural process of gradually diminishing grief intensity. Another
way of saying this is that grief isn't working and the bereaved person is "stuck" in the grieving process. When this happens,
grief intensity remains high and adjustment does not occur.
Complicated Grief is characterized by symptoms including
marked depression, anxiety, preoccupation with the deceased, disbelief, longing, anger, guilt, withdrawal, and avoidance that
continue for 6 months or more after a loss. These symptoms can cause substantial distress and have been associated with impaired
quality of life, poor medical outcomes, and increased rates of suicide.
Standard treatments include medications aimed
at specific symptoms such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medictions, and sleep-aids. Recent studies suggest that antidepressants
such as bupropion (Wellbutrin) and paroxetine (Paxil) may help relieve symptoms of CG. There is also a short-term therapy
recently developed and still being studied by Dr M. Katherine Shear specifically for complicated grief called "Complicated
Click here to watch a video about Complicated Grief.
Click here to watch a brief video about Complicated Grief and its treatment from Channel 5 news, July 19th 2012 with our Director
Dr. Naomi Simon and a patient.
Call 1 (866) 44-WORRY
If you are interested
in our treatment study for complicated grief or send an email to email@example.com
|The Center for Anxiety and Trauamtic Stress Disorders is located in Boston, Massachusetts