What is Prolonged Grief?

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, December 6, 2021

There are many types of grief that people can experience after a loss and a service at a funeral home in Fulton, IL. One common type is called prolonged grief.  

Prolonged grief is when you continue to feel overwhelming or debilitating feelings of sadness and mourning over a loss that happened several months or years in the past. This kind of grief is very common when you lose a very close loved one, like a child or a spouse, and is sometimes referred to as Prolonged Grief Disorder because of its devastating effects on health, mental state, and overall wellness. The symptoms of prolonged grief include: 

  • Difficulty accepting the loss  
  • Irritability 
  • Loss of trust in others or oneself 
  • Numbness to emotion 
  • Extreme anger or bitterness 
  • Loss of self-identity or self-worth  
  • Loss of purpose or direction 
  • Debilitating or unreasonable fear of more loss 
  • Overreactions to minor losses or issues 
  • Fixation on the loss.  

Loss is never easy, but with the right support, you can get through prolonged grief. Here are some fast facts on prolonged grief to help you better understand the condition and its impact on someone going through a loss:  

You can recover from PGD – While you may never “heal” from a loss, you can recover from prolonged grief disorder and be able to cope with the loss while living your life. The best ways to recover from the condition is to seek professional help, join a support group, and put an emphasis on your own personal stress and grief management.  

Prolonged Grief Disorder is a real diagnosis – Prolonged Grief Disorder, or PGD, is a real diagnosis recognized by the World Health Organization and most mental health professionals. It’s defined through symptoms, their severity, and their length. In fact, PGD is well on its way to being classified as a mental disorder. It has been suggested for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM.  

Some people are more likely to experience PGD than others – Some people are predisposed to prolonged grief, such as parents who have lost a child, women, people who have lost someone suddenly or violently, and those that are already suffering from other hardships like divorce or depression. 

Counseling goes a long way – One of the best ways to get through PGD is by seeking professional help early and often. Talking through your grief can help you accept it, which in turn can help you move forward in life. There is no shame in seeking help for any kind of mental distress, including grief.  

Prolonged grief isn’t just about death – People who have suffered other kinds of losses besides death can suffer from PGD. These losses can include loss of a job, divorce, or even loss of a dream.  

Time doesn’t necessarily heal – The old adage “time heals all wounds” might be true for some, but it isn’t true for all people or all grief. In fact, for most people, grief over a loss is never fully “healed,” but rather it just becomes a part of life that they carry with them. 

Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation is here to help if you want to learn more about grief, loss, or Fulton, IL funeral homes.  

 

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