Complicated Grief

What is complicated grief?

When, over a significant length of time,  an individual becomes incapacitated by the severity of the feelings of loss, the condition is referred to as Complicated Grief.  This is usually associated with the death of a loved one. Complicated grief is like being in a chronic, heightened state of mourning which prevents an individual from resuming his or her normal life routine.

What are some of the symptoms?

  • Extreme focus on the loss and of the reminders of the loved one
  • Deep sadness or depression, feeling numb or detached
  • Trouble carrying out normal routines
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Inability to enjoy life or feeling that life holds no meaning
  • Irritability, agitation or bitterness about the loss
  • Lack of trust in others

Professional assistance might be of benefit if you:

  • Focus on little other than your loved one's death.
  • Have thoughts of guilt or self-blame.
  • Believe that you did something wrong or could have prevented the death.
  • Have lost your sense of purpose in life.
  • Wish you had died along with your loved one.
  • At times, people with complicated grief may consider suicide. If you're considering suicide, reach out to someone as soon as possible and, if in immediate crisis call the 24-hour Crisis Line at 1.866.4.CRISIS (1.866.427.4747).

To make an appointment with the UW Bothell Student Mental Health Counseling Services call 425.352.3183.


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