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 Updated: October 23, 2009

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Sidney Zisook, MD - Psychiatry

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