When a loved one passes away, it is normal to feel sadness and grief, but an intense and persistent yearning or longing for the person who died, difficulties "moving on" with life after a period of time, and a sense that life and the future are meaningless, are signs of ‘complicated grief’ (also called ‘chronic grief’ or ‘prolonged grief’).
Although some of these symptoms also occur in people with normal (as opposed to complicated) grief, in people with complicated grief these symptoms are very intense and persist for at least 6 months to the point of interrupting daily activities or routines. People with complicated grief are basically stuck in a state of chronic grieving.
We now have a lot of evidence which suggests that complicated grief is a distinct mental health condition that should not be classified as another form of Depression or Anxiety. There is also evidence that people experiencing complicated grief are at risk for considerable health impairments. For these reasons, specialist treatment is recommended for sufferers of complicated grief.
New and effective treatments for complicated grief are currently being developed around the world. More information about our treatment for complicated grief can be found here.