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What Is Complex Grief?

Complex grief, commonly called complex grief disorder, is an intense and extended form of grief that permeates an individual’s life, inhibiting their ability to return to everyday routines and functions.

At New Directions Mental Health, we provide grief counseling to help people navigate through the maze of emotions associated with complex grief. Our empathetic and professional approach aids in the healing process, ensuring that each person’s unique grieving process is acknowledged and supported.

To learn more about our grief counseling in the Pennsylvania area, call us at 724.374.7414, and one of our team members will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What Is Complex Grief Disorder?

Complex grief disorder is a form of chronic grief that does not resolve but persists and intensifies over time. It is marked by intense emotional distress, hopelessness, preoccupying thoughts about the deceased person, and overwhelming guilt or anger. Symptoms can be present for months or even years after bereavement.

Complex bereavement shares a hybrid of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. People’s coping responses determine which symptoms they experience, which can be inconsistent. Some may feel self-blame, sadness, or struggle to accept death.

Signs of Complex Grief Disorder

People suffering from complex grief disorder may exhibit a variety of signs that indicate their struggle. Family, friends, and health professionals need to recognize these signs to help the individual seek proper treatment.

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Persistent yearning or longing for the deceased
  • Intense sorrow and emotional pain
  • Preoccupation with the deceased or with the circumstances of the death
  • Bitterness about the death
  • Inability to enjoy life or think back on positive experiences without being overcome by grief
  • Difficulty maintaining regular routines or returning to normal activities
  • Detachment or isolation from others
  • Feelings of life being meaningless or purposeless without the deceased
  • A belief that the future holds nothing of value or interest

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the above signs, it may be a sign that a complex grief disorder is present. Seeking professional help from a mental health provider can help you cope with your difficult grief in a healthy and productive way.

At New Directions Mental Health Services, our qualified counselors specialize in helping people dealing with all forms of bereavement, including those struggling with complex grief disorders.

Three Things to Consider When Grieving

You may feel alone in your grief, but you are not alone. It’s important to take the time to grieve in a healthy and safe way. Here are three things to consider when dealing with grief:

1. Connect with People Who Understand

Your feelings can be overwhelming, and it is often helpful to work through them with someone who understands that grief is not the same for everyone.

2. You Are Not Alone, Yet Your Experience Is Unique

It’s important to remember that while in grief, you are not alone, but others may not understand why you are experiencing a death so acutely.

3. Your Future Exists

By moving the focus away from what you’ve lost and creating a version of the future where they both honor the past and recognize the future, people can start to heal despite complex bereavement feelings. Finding ways to honor the memory of your loved one while investing in your own future is likely to be helpful.

The experience of agitation, anger, and difficulty spending time with other loved ones can vary. What is consistent is these difficulties do not remit after a reasonable amount of time, lasting at least six months to a year.

How Can You Manage Feelings of Complex Bereavement?

A therapist will assess the specific areas that are difficult for the individual to experience and tailor a plan to help them through grieving. A therapist will help to identify the thoughts that have been impeding them from moving forward, identify maladaptive coping patterns, and help them to explore new ways of moving forward.

The interventions used to achieve these goals will differ significantly based on what is comfortable for the client and therapist. It may be helpful to do role plays, face painful memories, and target negative beliefs that may have developed due to the loss.

Reaching out for professional help can be the first step to feeling better. New Directions Mental Health services those suffering from complex bereavement and grief disorders. Our counselors are here to provide support, counsel, and comfort as you work through your feelings of loss.

Call New Directions Mental Health for Grief Counseling in Greensburg, Pennsylvania

At New Directions Mental Health, we are determined to provide compassionate and effective grief counseling to our Pennsylvania communities. Our dedicated team of therapists and counselors is equipped with the understanding and experience necessary to guide you through the intricate process of healing from complex grief disorder. We believe in the power of therapy to help individuals navigate their unique grief paths, offering personalized care to match each person’s specific needs. We invite you to call us at 724.374.7414 or message us through our online contact form—take that first step toward healing and let us assist you on your journey to recovery.