Complicated Grief Reaction

There are various forms of grief, and one is called “complicated grief reaction.” Complicated grief reaction consists of unresolved grief in which the grief is prolonged and intense. There is an inability to function normally and participate in the activities of daily living.

10 percent of older bereaved women experience complicated grief reaction. One reason is that they continually face the loss of loved ones and dear friends.

In complicated grief therapy, therapists encouraged patients to talk about the deceased and discuss the various memories they had of their loved one. This was associated with also encouraging the individual to participate in various outside activities, thus focusing not only on the past, but also the future.

Treatment is more effective in individuals who have a strong support system, and this includes family and friends. Unfortunately, as one gets older, fewer friends are alive to help provide such support.

To grieve the loss of someone means that you loved that person and yes, that person is gone, but you did have the wonderful experience of loving and respecting him or her.  If people could concentrate on how fortunate they were to have such a person in their life, it could help lessen the amount of grief they undergo.

Getting over grief isn’t easy to accomplish, and many people need the help of health care professionals, including grief counselors. Queen Elizabeth has said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

4 Responses

  1. D

    It is coming up to the 6 year mark that my husband passed away. I was doing pretty good and confident about my future earlier this year. It seems like the last two weeks I have been in a dark place. We were married for 40 years and did not have children. I have lost a lot of friends and relatives. A lot of my friends are in poor health and older than I am. I am trying to do repairs and clean out the clutter in my house. I live in a rural area and someday would like to move to a small city where I could walk to places.

  2. Mary Francis

    Dear D – It’s good to plan for your future and not wait until change is forced upon you. I understand about house maintenance and found that I just didn’t want the responsibility so I moved into a condo. I love the freedom it gives me plus I know that I can grow old here with a caregiver if needed. It’s always good to make the decisions when your healthy enough to do it. It may free you up so that you can do some travelling or in a small city you may find some things to do that are fun and meet some new friends. It’s all within your control so please don’t let “someday” drift into never. Take care, Mary Francis

  3. D

    Dear Mary Francis,

    Thanks for the good advice.

    I tend to be a worrier. I can talk to my older brother and he just says not too worry too much about everything. Sometimes when I’m overthinking my everyday life I tend to get very anxious.

    Do you rent or own your condo?

    Thanks, very much. D

  4. Mary Francis

    I decided to own as mortgage rates are low and it didn’t cost more to own than to rent – so I thought “Why not?” It’s all new and every decision is unnerving when you don’t have anyone to share it with. I came to understand that I would whether make some changes, then stay in a place that wasn’t making me happy. Take care, Mary Francis

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