Grieving is a natural psychological process. Every individual suffers from grief number of times during his life span. The grieving time ha not laid down limit or characteristics. Every individual may have his own way of expressing emotions and grief. Similarly, the physical effects and mental effects of grieving may have different intensity. The grieving time is associated with how long it took for the individual to anticipate the death. It could be either expected or sudden. What ever may be the cause and form of grief, it certainly have some mental as well as physical affected on the individual.
Definition of Complicated Grief
The term ‘complicated grief’ is used to describe the considerably longer mourning sense. In simple words grief that is unresolved or overcame with the time of period is called as complicated grief. This complicated grief stage is reached when and individual or his family members display abnormal behavior as a result of pronged sense of mourning. Such people may even develop abnormalities like eating disorders and sings of sleep disturbances.
Uncomplicated grief reactions are easy to cure and these can be overcome with the help of common therapies. However, complicated grief reactions are difficult to overcome and require complex therapies to cure it. Complicated grief can result in one or more than one of the following problems.
- Disturbed behavior and emotions
- Posttraumatic stress
- Substance abuse
Extended time of symptoms, intensity of symptoms or interference caused by symptoms, like intense suicidal thoughts or acts, are the main characteristics of complicated grief.
Unresolved prolonged grief or complicated grief may surface proprietary like total absence of mourning and grief, delayed grief, chronic grief, persistent inability to feel usual grief reactions and conflicted grief.
Following factors contributes towards the development of unresolved or complicated grief.
- Suddenness of death. How long does it took to anticipate the loss and was the loss expected or occurred suddenly
- Gender of the individual in mourning
- Relationship between deceased and grieving person such as contradictory relationship, intense relationship or extremely close relationship.
If the complicated grief produces symptoms of major depression, combination of psychological therapy and drugs should be used for treating such cases. Avoidance to reminders of deceased, continuous thinking or dreaming about the deceased, getting scared or becoming panic easily due to reminders of the deceased; are the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.
The individual may also certain other disorders that can adversely affect the health of that person. For example, the individual may suffer from sleep disorders like sleeplessness or sleep disruption. This may lead to development of certain other diseases. If an individual attempts to avoid painful feelings he has due to the loss, and resultant symptoms, it may lead to occurrence of substance abuse. Use of psychological therapy-drugs combination will be beneficial for treating such individuals.