Prolonged grief disorder  

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and frequent situations. Normal grieving causes sadness, numbness, guilt, and rage in most individuals. Once these sensations subside, loss may be accepted and moved on.


– Problems accepting the death – Numbness or detachment – Bitterness about your lo – Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose – Lack of trust in other


It's unclear what produces complex grief. It may include your surroundings, personality, hereditary qualities, and body's natural chemicals, like many mental health illnesses.

Risk factor

– Death of a child – Close or dependent relationship to the deceased person – Social isolation or loss of a support system or friendship


– Depression – Suicidal thoughts or behavior – Anxiety, including PTSD – Significant sleep disturbance


It's unclear how to avoid complex grief. Quick therapy following a loss may benefit, especially for those at risk of difficult grieving. 

When to see a doctor

If you experience extreme sorrow and issues functioning that don't improve after a year, see a doctor or mental health expert.

If you have thoughts of suicide

Complex grievers may ponder suicide. Talk to someone you trust about suicide. Call 911 or your local emergency services if you fear you may commit yourself.

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