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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Jun;14(2):119-28.

Grief and mourning gone awry: pathway and course of complicated grief.

Author information

1
Columbia University School of Social Work, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10027, USA. ks2394@columbia.edu

Abstract

Complicated grief is a recently recognized condition that occurs in about 7% of bereaved people. People with this condition are caught up in rumination about the circumstances of the death, worry about its consequences, or excessive avoidance of reminders of the loss. Unable to comprehend the finality and consequences of the loss, they resort to excessive avoidance of reminders of the loss as they are tossed helplessly on waves of intense emotion. People with complicated grief need help, and clinicians need to know how to recognize the symptoms and how to provide help. This paper provides a framework to help clinicans understand bereavement, grief, and mourning. Evidence-based diagnostic criteria are provided to help clinicians recognize complicated grief, and differentiate it from depression as well as anxiety disorder. We provide an overview of risk factors and basic assumptions and principles that can guide treatment.

KEYWORDS:

bereavement; complicated grief; depression; grief; mourning

PMID:
22754284
PMCID:
PMC3384440
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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