What it is: After a significant loss, it’s normal to experience and express grief in unique ways that are shaped by our beliefs, values, and culture. Acute grief occurs in the early period after a loss and may include strong feelings of yearning, longing, sadness, anxiety, anger, remorse, or guilt.
Over time, these loss-related experiences evolve as a person adapts to the loss. The grief may never disappear completely, but rather individuals learn to coexist with elements of grief without allowing it to overtake or inhibit their day to day life.
However, some individuals develop a persistent form of intense grief, which can include troubling thoughts, preoccupation with memories of the deceased, problem behaviors used to avoid painful feelings, and difficulty managing painful emotions. In such cases, grief continues to dominate the individual’s life, disrupting relationships and creating hopelessness for the future, constituting “complicated” grief and often requiring clinical intervention.
Associated concerns: Complicated grief can be the underpinning of many other mental health experiences, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma-related symptoms. In coping with grief, some individuals develop substance abuse concerns.
Evidence Based Treatments offered: Complicated Grief Treatment