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Complications of Grief

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Complicated grief

Complicated grief is a syndrome of acute grief and anxiety lasting 6 or more months after the death of a loved one.1 Complicated grief may also be called separation trauma, traumatic grief, or prolonged-acute grief.

Symptoms of complicated grief include:

  • A preoccupation with the loved one.
  • Excessive loneliness.
  • Longing and yearning for the loved one.
  • Difficulty doing everyday things without the loved one.

Complicated grief is different from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With PTSD, a person is anxious and fearful that the traumatic event that caused the loss will occur again. In complicated grief, anxiety results because the person is searching and yearning for his or her loved one.

If you or someone you know has symptoms of complicated grief, seek help from a professional counselor specializing in grief counseling.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 17, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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