NYC Psychotherapist Blog

power by WikipediaMindmap

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coping with the Loss of a Loved One: Complicated Grief

In prior articles, I focused on coping with grieving for a loved one, whether it is a family member, friend or a cherished pet (see links for those articles below). I emphasized that no one is immune to loss and grief and everybody is different in terms of how they grieve and how long.

Coping With the Loss of a Loved One: Complicated Grief

What is complicated grief?
Complicated grief is when grieving turns into not just sadness, but psychological symptoms that include features of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Someone who is suffering with complicated grief might become obsessive about the details of the death or highly suspicious about other people's motives.

In some cases, they might hallucinate. They will often have intrusive thoughts about the deceased person. They might deny the death (thinking the deceased person is alive somewhere else and suffering, needing their help) or they might want to die themselves.

In many cases, they are unable to function in their daily activities of living (getting up, going to work), or they find it too difficult to maintain their self care (bathing, sleeping, dressing themselves).

Getting Help: What to do if you or someone you know is suffering with complicated grief:
If you or someone you know is suffering with complicated grief, it's very important to seek professional mental health as soon as possible.

Do not assume that the symptoms will go away on their own. A licensed psychotherapist can assist by helping to work through the grief.

Hypnotherapy (also known as clinical hypnosis) and EMDR are two types of treatment that can be very helpful in assisting people to overcome complicated grief (see my prior postings to learn about these very effective forms of therapy).

About Me:
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and EMDR therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during regular business hours or email me.

Other articles about grief in this blog:  
Grief in Waiting After the Death of a Parent
Resolving Complicated Grief
Common Reactions to Grief: It's Not Unusual to Feel Worse Before You Feel Better
Coping With the Loss of a Loved One: Taking Care of Yourself
Coping With the Loss of a Pet