Complicated grief and depression

About Grief

It’s natural to feel sad and bitter after the loss of a loved one, but sometimes it can last for a long, intense period of time and interfere with daily life. If the grief after bereavement remains the same for months, and instead of decreasing, the pain is increasing, or you are unable to focus on new living conditions and life, you could be experiencing a serious problem such as “complicated grief” or “depression.”


“Complicated grief” refers to the continued intense grief over the loss of a loved one. You may not be able to accept the death of a loved one, or you may not be able to stop thinking about him/her, your daily life may get more complicated, your relationships are hindered, and it seems that life without that person doesn’t have meaning. The symptoms of complicated grief are closely related to the pain of bereavement and the feelings and love for the deceased.


“Depression”, on the other hand, may involve a depressed mood, low motivation, sleep disturbances (such as early morning awakening), a loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating and suicidal thoughts. While “depression” often causes a persistent sense of depression and a pessimistic outlook on life in general, “complicated grief” is associated with intense pain and grief related to the deceased.


Medications can’t cure grief itself, but they can improve symptoms of depression and insomnia. Complicated grief can comorbid with depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). If you are experiencing symptoms, such as sleeplessness, persistent depression, distressed feelings that interfere with life and feeling like you want to die, please contact a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychotherapist or psychologist). Medication and counseling may help with your symptoms.