What is Prolonged Grief Disorder?

Grief is a normal but complex and painful process that we experience in response to loss, especially the death of a loved one. Despite widely held beliefs, grief does not occur in stages, nor is the expression of grief limited to a range of emotions. Grief also includes changes in your thinking and can have a significant impact on your physical and spiritual well-being.

While grief is a normal response to the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to manage for many reasons.  If your grief process persists for more than 12 months after the death of your loved one to the degree that it interferes with your day-to-day functioning, you may be experiencing Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD)-formerly referred to as Complicated Grief (CG).

The use of the term "disorder" is controversial, as it is associated with something being "wrong" with someone. But there is nothing wrong with you. Your life has been disrupted by the death of a loved one.

The concept of a "disorder" in regard to grief, refers to a cluster of characteristics; ways of thinking and feeling about your deceased loved one, yourself, and the world, that derails the integration of your grief into your living.

Finding a mental health professional who recognizes this cluster of characteristics and is trained in Prolonged Grief Disorder Therapy (PGDT), can alleviate your suffering and help you to find new meaning in your living.