The definition and differences of complicated grief reaction

This is a research paper on complicated grief reaction. The first page contains the introduction of the research paper, definition of grief and the differences between normal or uncomplicated grief and complicated grief. The second page mainly covers the phases of the grieving process namely: shock, processing the loss and resolution. These phases of the grieving process are important in improving the understanding of the normal grief.

The third page outlines the warning signs of complicated grief reaction and the four major categories of complicated grief reaction: chronic or prolonged, delayed, exaggerated and masked reactions. The fourth page contains the four proposed diagnostic criteria for prolonged or complicated grief to be included in the next revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. The last page covers the treatment procedures for persons experiencing complicated grief reaction namely: grief counseling, grief therapy, social support networks and medications. Then there is a conclusion of the research paper.

Complicated grief reaction

Grieving is common since death is inescapable and the deceased are irreplaceable. People mourn the death of their loved ones in different ways and over different durations of time usually defined by the cultural environment in which one finds himself or herself. So grieving is natural and healthy usually meant to help people accept the loss of their loved ones and consequently re-organize their lives to move on. The emotions and feelings of grief are hard to deal with especially when the social support networks are lacking or the death of a loved one was traumatic/sudden.

Research has been done to differentiate normal grief from complicated or abnormal grief. Grief can be primarily defined as the emotional or the affective process of responding to the loss of a loved through death. Corr & Corr (2009) has thus defined normal or uncomplicated grief as the ordinary, healthy, appropriate reaction to a loss of a loved one. Some of the manifestations of normal grief are shock, denial, numbness, mourning and eventual recovery. Baron & Sholevar (2008) states that complicated, unresolved or prolonged grief occurs when the responses are absent, excessive, distorted or unending. Thus the major differences between normal and complicated grief are based on the intensity and the durations of time that the bereaved takes to grieve.

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