As humans, we all experience loss at some point in our lives. The loss that we each experience will be unique; however, many people struggle with similar feelings of grief and sadness during these times of loss. While grief is most often associated with the unexpected death of a loved one, there are a variety of reasons that one might experience grief throughout their life. Grief can be caused by the loss of a job, severe illness, the loss of a pet, or even a falling out with an old friend. Any experience that causes you to lose something that you hold dear can cause and lead to feelings of grief and depression. The severity of these times of grief varies depending on the underlying situation that caused the initial feeling of loss.
The death of a loved one could cause you to experience a period of longer grief than the loss of a job depending on each unique individual. Regardless of the cause of your grief, this emotion can be difficult to navigate and manage on your own. Loss can seem overwhelming at times and it is important to lean on those around you for support and love.
Coping with loss and grief can seem impossible to many, however, there are a plethora of healthy coping mechanisms that can aid you through this difficult time. For example, taking time to get outside and breathe the fresh air can help you to heal after struggling with a difficult loss. Dealing with the emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult and taxing for anyone.
The process of self-healing can seem very isolating to those that are struggling with a loss. While there are a variety of strategies that can help alleviate the pain that accompanies these situations, the selfless act of helping others who may be dealing with prolonged grief can help you navigate this challenging time. There is no set time frame for the stages of grief or the healing process. Each person heals at a different pace and there is nothing wrong with needing more time than others to process a loss and navigate the challenging path of grief.
As mentioned above, people grieve in different ways. This often means that people grieve for different amounts of time as well when going through difficult losses. Some people may only grieve for a month or two, while others diagnosed with prolonged grief disorder may struggle. Prolonged grief disorder is defined as a disorder that consists of periods of intense and persistent grief that impact a person’s ability to function within their daily life.
This time of bereavement lasts much longer than what is standard for the social, cultural, and religious standards of their area. While the grieving process looks different for every person, make sure to pay attention to those in your life that may be struggling with a difficult loss. If you notice that someone seems to be grieving for a longer than normal period of time and this loss is impacting their daily life, consider reaching out to check in on them.
If untreated, it is possible for prolonged grief disorder to lead to significant physical and emotional challenges for the affected individual. Prolonged grief disorder can greatly impact one’s quality of life as this disorder can often lead to feelings of depression and extreme apathy. When grief becomes this debilitating, it can be challenging for the affected person to carry out basic daily life tasks
For example, someone suffering from prolonged grief disorder may struggle to carry out proper and healthy eating habits. Extreme grief may cause people to abuse food by binge eating or starving themselves of essential nutrients. Those struggling with prolonged grief disorder may also struggle to move their body or take care of their basic hygiene needs.
Oftentimes, these are not conscious choices that are being made by those suffering from prolonged grief disorder. Rather, the grief that these individuals are experiencing is so severe that they are unable to perform these basic tasks. At times the grief can seem all-consuming and getting out of bed may even be a challenge for some of these individuals. If you or someone you know may be struggling with prolonged grief disorder, make sure to check in and seek help if needed. Showing support and understanding during these difficult times can be extremely helpful when coping with loss.
Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult and challenging process. Feeling extreme loss will impact everyone at some point in their lives, and the grief that accompanies these losses can be debilitating to many. The grief and pain from these losses can cause many to feel lost or hopeless in their everyday lives.
A great way to combat these dark emotions is to focus some of your energy on caring for other people that are in need. Offering support and love to others that may be grieving the loss of a loved one is very helpful as some of these people may be struggling with prolonged grief disorder. Shared experiences and emotions can allow you and others that are grieving to feel less alone in the world.
Prolonged grief disorder may also be caused after the loss of a job. Many adults can feel extreme guilt or stress after losing a job and this can cause extreme grief that can be damaging to their health and their mind. Losing a job can be extremely stressful for most people. Many people rely on their jobs to support themselves and their families and the loss of this stability can be extremely jarring.
In these situations, it is not uncommon for the unemployed to begin experiencing prolonged grief disorder. This immense mental struggle can lead them to be unable to complete basic life tasks. It is important to reach out to those that may be struggling with grief after the loss of a job.
Experiencing a traumatic injury can be extremely stressful and challenging for many people. Traumatic injuries can have lasting impacts on the quality of life one experiences. These injuries can cause anxiety and depression to surface and may impact an individual’s ability to carry out important daily tasks. To minimize these mental and physical impacts, those healing from traumatic injuries can ask for help when needed.
Traumatic injuries can cause extreme grief which can eventually morph into prolonged grief disorder. Some people that struggle with trauma from injuries can feel as though they are constantly reliving the past. This feeling of missing out on the future and what ‘could have been’ often causes resentment and anger to build in addition to extreme grief. Many people grieve the life that they could have had prior to their injury or trauma.
Many people are unaware that prolonged grief disorder even exists and therefore are unfamiliar with some of the warning signs of this mental health battle. This section of the article will cover the most common warning signs of prolonged grief disorder. This knowledge will allow you to spot the early warning signs of this disorder and can help you determine the best way to aid those that may be struggling with prolonged grief disorder.
One common warning sign of prolonged grief disorder is developing the feeling that a part of you has died-leading to feeling extreme sadness. This symptom of prolonged grief disorder is one of the most common. This feeling can arise after the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the loss of an important friendship.
Losing an important relationship or position can make you feel as though you have lost a part of yourself. Our identities are often closely tied to the people and responsibilities in our lives.
When one of those relationships or responsibilities is removed or vanishes, it can be very jarring. It often feels as though an integral part of you has died along with the lost relationship or job. If you are feeling this way or know of someone that may be feeling this way, make sure to reach out for professional help. It is also important to know that you are never alone when you are dealing with grief or loss.
Another common symptom of prolonged grief disorder is that some people may begin to develop a disbelief about death. This warning sign is most often associated with the death of a loved one.
Losing an important person in your life can lead you to begin to disbelieve that they are really dead. This disillusion can be extremely damaging to your mind and may cause you to feel immense confusion and distress.
This warning sign may be difficult to recognize within yourself, however, make sure to pay attention to those around you that may be experiencing extreme loss. If you ever notice that someone is beginning to doubt that a loved one has truly died, make sure to check in with them regularly and seek professional help if needed.
Another warning sign of prolonged grief disorder is the avoidance of reminders that a person or an animal is dead. Those that are experiencing prolonged grief disorder may begin to avoid any and all reminders of the death or loss of a loved one.
This warning sign often is associated with denial of the death of a loved one as acknowledging that loss and the subsequent reminders can be too difficult for some grieving people to manage.
While it is important not to overwhelm the grieving with constant reminders of the death of their loved one, it is also important to not deny or ignore the passing of a loved one. Part of the grieving process is acceptance of a loss and encouraging those that are experiencing loss to accept the death of a loved one can help them on their own personal healing journey.
Another warning sign of prolonged grief disorder is the feeling that life is now meaningless. If you or someone you know is beginning to feel as though life is meaningless after the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job, make sure to reach out for professional help. The feeling that life is meaningless can cause many people to lose any interest in performing basic and essential life tasks.
Another warning sign of prolonged grief disorder is the feeling that you are all alone or separate from others. This feeling of isolation can be very depressing and challenging to overcome. This feeling can prevent some people from enjoying life or performing important life tasks.
This feeling of loneliness can also make the grieving process seem endless and prevent healing after loss. If you or a loved one are feeling isolated, make sure to lean on your friends and family for support during this difficult time.
Prolonged grief disorder can also cause some people to leave the deceased person’s belongings exactly as they were before their death. This can happen when those dealing with loss are struggling with denial. Some grieving individuals may struggle to accept the reality that their loved one is gone.
If this is the case, these individuals may decide to leave the belongings of the deceased in the exact same position as when they were alive. This can sometimes make the remaining family members and friends feel as though their loved one is not truly gone.
However, this practice can be extremely damaging to the healing process of those left behind. This can trick the mind into thinking that the deceased will be coming back at some point. This train of thought can actually prolong the grief period and cause people to feel more distressed and depressed. While it is difficult to pack up the belongings of a deceased loved one, this process can help offer closure and commence the healing process.
Another warning sign of prolonged grief disorder is having trouble remembering positive memories of their loved one. The unexpected loss of a loved one can sometimes cause some family and friends to feel anger or resentment toward the deceased. These feelings often arise due to anger at the situation more so than anger at the dead person.
This feeling of unexpected loss can also make it challenging for those coping with the loss to remember positive memories of their loved ones. In their distress at the loss of a loved one, those left behind may be plagued with negative memories of their loved one. If you see someone struggling with this problem, consider reaching out and reminding them of some positive stories of their loved ones. You can also help steer them in the direction of professional help if you feel that they need additional support.
The final and most serious of the warning signs that will be discussed in this article is the experience of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Extreme loss and the trauma that can accompany that loss may lead some people to struggle with suicidal thoughts or behavior.
This is an extremely serious situation and requires immediate professional help. If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or behavior, make sure to contact a mental health professional in order to create a proper treatment plan.
As always, it is very important to remember that you are not alone and while grief can seem debilitating at times, you are capable of navigating through this challenging time and healing.
Some of you may be wondering whether the symptoms of prolonged grief disorder are different for children, and the answer is yes. For children, grief can be an extremely confusing and difficult emotion to experience and try to manage. This section of the article will cover some of the main symptoms children may experience if they are struggling with prolonged grief disorder.
When dealing with the death of a loved one, children are often unaware of the true meaning of death and what that implies. Children that are struggling with the loss of a loved one do not fully understand that their loved one is never coming back, and they may have a difficult time with grief. Rather, they often believe that their loved one has just gone away for a little while and will be coming back at a later time. The realization that their loved one is gone forever can be extremely challenging to cope with and may cause cases of depression or future fear of personal attachment.
After the loss of a loved one, children struggling with prolonged grief disorder may also request to travel back to the places where they last saw their loved one. Because many children struggle to grasp the concept of death and all that it implies, they often believe that they will see their loved ones again if they travel to the places where they last remember them. If you begin to notice this behavior in children that have recently lost a loved one, make sure to consult with a professional in order to manage these difficult emotions and help the child heal through the grieving process.
Children experiencing prolonged grief disorder may also become extremely fearful that other loved ones might die. The jarring and unexpected loss of a loved one can cause some children to feel as though their loved ones might die at any time. This fear can cause some children to struggle to maintain or form personal connections out of worry that they might lose these connections unexpectedly. It is important to work on building trust when dealing with children that are experiencing prolonged grief disorder. If you are unsure of how to navigate these situations, make sure to consult with a mental health professional that has experience with children and grief.
Children that have experienced the loss or the death of a loved one may also begin to develop separation anxiety if they are struggling with prolonged grief disorder in children. Separation anxiety is extreme anxiety at the prospect of being left alone or separated from particular family members or friends. The loss of a loved one can lead many children to fear the loss of other loved ones. This severe fear often leads children to fear separation from their loved ones. This can cause trouble when taking children to school or trying to work with a babysitter or nanny. If you notice that children are showcasing signs of separation anxiety after the loss of a loved one, make sure to consult a mental health professional.
Now that you have a better understanding of what prolonged grief disorder is, you may be wondering if there are specific treatment plans that can help mitigate this mental health struggle. There are a few different treatments or strategies that can be used to address how to help prolonged grief disorder, and this section will explain the best available options when it comes to treating this disorder.
One of the most effective and trusted forms of treatment for prolonged grief disorder is prolonged grief disorder therapy, also referred to as PGDT. PGDT focuses on utilizing therapy techniques to help grieving individuals heal and navigate through their emotions in a safe way. This form of therapy is not intended to be utilized in the long term and is based on research within the psychological and social work fields. This therapy treatment often works on teaching a few important emotional management skills.
Another form of treatment for prolonged grief disorder is bereavement support groups. Bereavement support groups bring together many people who are struggling with the loss of loved ones in order to help them navigate the grief and healing process. These support groups can help those grieving feel less alone and can serve as a source of useful support and social connection. The loss of a loved one can seem isolating at times, however, a bereavement support group can remind you that you are not alone during this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is struggling with prolonged grief disorder, it is easy to feel confused or overwhelmed. This section of the article will walk you through the most helpful things to do if you or a loved one is navigating through a difficult grieving process.
Grief can be a very challenging emotion to deal with and these challenging times can seem very isolating. In order to help those that are dealing with prolonged grief disorder, make sure to check in with them on a regular basis. It is very important to listen to those that may be struggling with the loss of a loved one as there may be a lot on their mind.
Another great way to help those that might be struggling with prolonged grief disorder is to offer to run errands or perform tasks for them around the house. Losing a loved one or experiencing extreme grief can make the completion of daily tasks seem very challenging.
Simple things like going to the grocery store or cleaning the house might seem impossible. If you know someone that is struggling with the loss of a loved one, consider helping them with errands or around their house. This assistance can make a big difference in their lives.
The loss of a loved one can lead to extreme feelings of grief and sadness. If you know someone that may be struggling with prolonged grief disorder, make sure to offer your support and time to them.
Grief can cause many people to feel alone, so make sure to remind them that they are never alone. Offering these kind words to those that are struggling with grief can help them to feel supported and cared for.
If you or someone you know is struggling with prolonged grief disorder, consider using meditation in order to help reduce your sadness and improve your mental health. Meditation can help clear your head and is a very healthy coping mechanism to use if you have lost a loved one. You can also utilize journaling in order to manage your prolonged grief disorder.
Journaling, similar to meditation, can help you cope with your feelings in a more positive way. Journaling can also help you to fully process the loss of a loved one. Other forms of self-care such as exercise or watching your favorite TV show can also help you to work through serious feelings of grief and sadness after the loss of a loved one.
It is also very important to remain physically active and eat healthy foods when you are working through prolonged grief disorder. The loss of a loved one can sometimes lead to the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as immobility or binge eating. Moving your body and eating healthy foods can really help to improve your mental health.
Yoga, hiking, or jogging are all wonderful forms of exercise that can help you to feel better after the loss of a loved one. It is also important to fuel your body with whole foods such as fruits and vegetables in order to boost your energy and mood.
If you are looking to gift a grieving friend or family member something more personalized than the options listed above, consider giving them a remembrance gift that can help them honor the loved one that they lost.
Ever Memories crafts beautiful and durable photo-engraved jewelry necklaces that can serve as wonderful photo engraved jewelry for women to remember loved ones that have been lost. This heartfelt and thoughtful photo engraved jewelry for children can help promote healing while encouraging the gift giver to address their own struggles and healing.
Ever memories website has a variety of helpful articles that can assist you in selecting the perfect photo engraved jewelry for men to give a grieving individual that may be struggling with prolonged grief disorder.
Ever Memories also makes wonderfully affordable keepsake urns. These urns for burial can create the perfect resting place for lost loved ones. These unique urns have a variety of beautiful designs. The website even has handmade urns and urns for scattering ashes. Cremation urns are a wonderful way to honor those who have passed away and help those working through prolonged grief disorder. Consider looking at the keepsake urns on Ever Memories in order to help find a proper memorial resting place for a lost loved one.
In addition to photo-engraved jewelry pieces, Everlasting Memories also crafts personalized fingerprint jewelry for women such as their fingerprint rings. These jewelry pieces can offer healing that can help honor the memory of those that have passed. These remembrance gifts for healing take the fingerprint of a lost loved one and imprint it upon specified jewelry pieces such as fingerprint rings or fingerprint bracelets.
This thoughtful fingerprint jewelry for men can help those grieving and navigating the loss while also helping the gift giver work towards their self-healing. These thoughtful and caring fingerprint jewelry for children can help them to work through their trauma and grief by reminding them of the importance of love and compassion.
If you have any questions regarding the selection process of fingerprint jewelry items, Ever Memories offers a helpful article that can make this process simpler.
You can also assist in helping someone through grief by gifting them a piece of cremation jewelry for women, cremation jewelry for men, or cremation jewelry for children. The loss of a loved one can be very sudden and jarring to many people. The loss of someone in your life can leave many people feeling lost or alone.
This memorial jewelry for men and memorial jewelry for children help with healing and can allow those that are grieving to process their loss and hold on to the memories of their loved one. Ever Memories offer a variety of gifts to honor those that have passed. Keepsakes made from ashes are a wonderful way to keep the memory of a lost loved one close to those that were left behind.
Items such as necklaces made with ashes and cremation keychains or cremation rings can be carried with the families and friends of loved ones that have passed. This memorial jewelry such as rings made with ashes can be the perfect memorial jewelry for women. Gifting a grieving individual one of these pieces of cremation jewelry for healing can help them navigate through their journey of recovery and grief.
This selfless action can also help you process your own healing and growth by offering valuable perspective and encouragement to utilize healthy coping mechanisms. The Everlasting Memories website also offers an article on commonly asked questions for cremation jewelry pieces.
Prolonged grief disorder is defined as longer than normal periods of grief that can impact the quality of life of those suffering from loss. This grief can be debilitating at times and make simple tasks very difficult.
There is no set time that grief will linger for. This is very unique to each person. However, if grief is lasting for months and months without ever seeming to improve, you may want to reach out for professional help.
Prolonged grief shares multiple symptoms with depression however prolonged grief disorder is associated with an extreme loss. Depression does not require a loss in order to generate the same symptoms.
If your child is unable to understand that a loved one has truly passed and will not come back, or they are fixating on the last location that they saw their loved one, you may want to take them to seek professional help.
The difference between prolonged grief and complicated grief is that prolonged grief refers to an unusually long time in which a person is feeling extremely depressed due to an extreme loss.
Prolonged grief disorder is defined as extreme grief that persists for longer periods than normal and can cause a disinterest in life and essential life activities. This level of grief can greatly impact the health and well-being of those that have recently experienced a loss. There are a few different ways that this grief can be managed and it is important to learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of losing a loved one.
Consider reaching out to those that might be experiencing loss and make sure that they feel your love and support. If you, yourself are dealing with loss and grief, make sure you lean on those around you for support and care. You are never alone when you are working through grief even though it may feel as if you are at times.
March 9, 2023 by Frances Kay