When Things Get Sour: Understanding and Treating Complicated Grief

Grief is something that virtually every person who has ever lived must contend with at some point. The longer you live, the more times you will likely have to deal with it. Grief can come in many forms, and it can be minor or major, depending on the nature of each loss or traumatic event. 

You can always visit an Orange County mental health treatment center if you live in the area and you’re having trouble processing grief. If what you’re experiencing can be considered complicated grief, though, that might require a good deal more time to process than is usually the case with simple grief. We’ll talk about that in the following article.

What is Complicated Grief?

Complicated grief is usually regarded by mental health professionals or doctors as grief that has not subsided after weeks or months. For instance, if you have been grieving because of the death of a pet, friend, parent, or someone else, and more than a year has passed, most doctors would consider your case to be one of complicated grief.

In other instances, complicated grief can be regarded as grief that has a more delicate subtext than typical sorrow. For example, you may feel complicated grief if a parent dies who was abusive to you. You still loved them, in a way, so you’re mourning them. At the same time, you may harbor feelings of resentment for the way they mistreated you.

Why Is It More Difficult to Process than Simple Grief?

Complicated grief is grief that has more of an impact on you because of its complexity or the length of time that you feel it. Because of this, there’s virtually no way that it’s not going to have a profound impact on your life.

If you can’t seem to shake off a feeling of grief, then it lingers in the background. It’s never far from your mind, whether you’re working, enjoying some downtime, or doing anything else. Your thoughts might keep going back to it. If the complicated grief you feel is also accompanied by additional feelings, like anger, that can make it even more pronounced.

How Can You Recover from Complicated Grief?

The notion that time heals all wounds is a little trite, but it’s usually the case with grief, whether complicated or otherwise. Sometimes, you feel grief that might last longer than usual, or it may be more poignant than normal. At times, it might feel like you will never get over it.

Usually, though, the further away you get from the person’s death or whatever other form of trauma has caused you pain, you will feel better. The process might take a longer time if you’re feeling more complex grief, but generally, you will reach a point where it won’t feel as bad.

You can also contact a qualified therapist or another mental health professional. You may look into antidepressant medication as well. All of these are viable options if grief is exacting a heavy toll on you.