Health Encyclopedia

Complicated Grief

Complicated Grief

Complicated grief, or separation trauma, is a condition in which a person feels great anxiety, loneliness, and intense longing after the death of a loved one. These symptoms last 6 or more months and can take much of a person's focus and energy.

A person with complicated grief feels anxiety related directly to the loss of a loved one. This condition differs from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition in which a person is anxious and fearful that traumatic events will occur again.

Complicated grief can be treated by a doctor and a grief counselor.

Last Revised: October 17, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Sidney Zisook, MD - Psychiatry

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.