What is complicated sadness?

Grief is a person’s natural response to the loss of a loved one. It is accompanied by feelings of hurt, loss and sadness. Complex grief, also known as complex bereavement, is a type of person who may have just lost a loved one or is experiencing grief for other reasons.

Although for most people, the intensity of grief usually fades over time, for those with complex grief, these feelings do not improve. They may be so nervous that they disrupt their daily lives.

A person with complex grief may also exhibit certain dysfunctional behaviors, and may have irrational thoughts, such as the idea that the dead may be resurrected. This is a chronic form of grief that can damage a person’s life. When grief lingers, complex grief occurs. Approximately 7% of people who have lost a loved one may experience complex grief.of


The signs and symptoms of complex sadness are similar to normal sadness. However, the symptoms of normal sadness will disappear over time, while people with complex sadness experience them more intensely and longer.

Some signs to be aware of include:

  • Over avoid reminding them of their losses
  • Obsessively thinking about their losses
  • A strong miss for the dead
  • Feeling lost in life
  • Excessive seeking to approach reminders of things that remind them of the people they have lost
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unacceptable loss has occurred
  • Have persistent and intrusive thoughts about the lost

Symptoms of complex sadness may also manifest on the body. People in this situation may encounter:

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  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • pressure
  • Weakened immune function

How to recognize complex grief

Grief is a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one. When it persists and is accompanied by dysfunctional behaviors and unsuitable thoughts, it becomes complicated.It is important to note that the official diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association does not list complex grief. But this is a real and potentially debilitating disease.

Some people think that if you still feel extremely sad for six months to a year after losing a loved one, your sadness may become complicated. But this is not a hard and fast rule.

In a 1997 study, a group of mental health experts proposed complex grief diagnostic criteria.They proposed the following diagnostic criteria to help determine whether a person has complicated grief. These include:

  • The loss occurred at least 6 months ago
  • Symptoms of persistent and acute grief, which may include longing for the deceased, feeling of loneliness, and concentration on the deceased
  • There are at least two of any symptoms of shock, anger, difficulty trusting others, and inability to accept death.
  • Symptoms last more than a month
  • Symptoms can seriously affect a person’s life

Other characteristics of complex sadness may include:

  • Unable to continue their daily activities
  • Avoid places or activities that remind them of lost people
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of interest in self-care
  • Reckless, impulsive and potentially self-destructive behavior

Complex grief is sometimes mistaken for depression. Although both may have some symptoms, such as feelings of sadness and hopelessness, depression is a mental disorder, while complex sadness is not.

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Many symptoms of complex sadness may look like symptoms of depression. In some cases, complex sadness may even evolve into depression. Depression may occur with complex sadness and make the symptoms of the condition worse.

In situations where death is violent and sudden, a person may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder. When complex grief is not treated, some complications may occur, including:

  • Suicide and suicidal thoughts
  • anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Frustrated


There are no identifiable complex causes of grief, but some people may be more susceptible to this disease than others. Certain risk factors may make a person more susceptible to this condition, including:

  • A loved one who died unexpectedly or in shock
  • People with a history of mental disorders
  • People with a history of drug abuse
  • People who have experienced more than one death in a short period of time
  • Not present at the time of the loss
  • Witness the loss in real time

Interfering with the healing process of normal grief can also lead to complex grief. Certain types of loss can also lead to complex grief-such as the loss of a child or a person’s significant other. Complex grief has also proven to be more common among older people. A 2011 study evaluated the grief of 5,741 elderly people and found that complex grief is common among the elderly. of


The treatment of complex grief focuses on helping people with this disease begin their recovery process.Bereavement therapy is most commonly used as a treatment option for this condition.

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In the case of complex grief evolution or accompanied by another mental health condition, it is also important to treat this condition. For example, in the case of depression, antidepressants may also help relieve complex symptoms of sadness.

The bereavement counselor will encourage you to monitor your grief to better understand your emotional state. Joining a bereavement support group can also help cope with the feelings of loss and sadness you may feel. Knowing that you are not alone, someone understands and is experiencing your feelings can help you feel better. You may also see a psychodynamic therapist. The therapist can help you determine your past losses and how they relate to your current losses.

Traumatic grief therapy is another treatment option that has been proven effective for complex grief. Here, the therapist uses behavioral methods and interpersonal skills to help you overcome losses. Your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for you. A combination of medicine and therapy can be used to treat complex grief.of


Sadness is a difficult emotion to experience. In many cases, it is more difficult for you to bear the feeling of loss and sadness that comes with it alone. Connect with friends and family who can understand what you are going through. This is something you should do without hesitation.

If you are a relative of someone experiencing complex grief, you can help the bereaved to find a treatment that suits their condition.