Prolonged Grief Disorder

Podcast of the blog

Another category added to the spectrum of stress and trauma disorders is Prolonged Grief Disorder. Grief is a normal process of losing something or someone, such as a loved one, a role, a responsibility, etc. It is a natural response to this loss. Grief involves a deep sorrow and overwhelming distress for the loss. There are usually powerful and intense emotional reactions. 

Grief responses are subjective and have a cultural and religious element to them. People grieve in different ways within the laws of mourning they have been brought up in. The period of bereavement (duration when grief is experienced) and the process of mourning are individual and personal. When these responses deviate or stray away from the expected set of cultural or religious norms and go beyond the standard period, the period for prolonged grief initiates. Thus, Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) involves reactions beyond the expected range of any individual to the loss and the expected time duration as per their cultural, social, or religious norms.

PGD is described as not being able to accept the loss, intense yearning for the lost one, inability to find meaning in life and difficulty moving forward, emotional numbing, and detachment from others. Though grief has no boundaries, the individual seems to be stuck in the cycle of suffering, loneliness, meaninglessness, and identity confusion during prolonged grief. All of this is persistent and prolonged.

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