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Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder 

Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder
Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder

Meredith E. Charney

, Sarah Wieman

, Nicole Leblanc

, and Naomi Simon

Page of

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date: 28 January 2022

Grief is an intensely painful, but natural and normal psychological response following the death of a loved one. Although there is no uniform pattern for adapting to loss, for the majority of people, acute grief naturally evolves over time into a more integrated, less painful form of grief in a way that is healthy and adaptive; this enables return to a satisfying life without the deceased. However, a growing literature has shown that complications can arise such that the natural recovery from acute grief stalls and grief becomes persistently intense and debilitating. This chapter describes the etiology, diagnostic and clinical features, differential diagnosis, epidemiology, pathophysiology, assessment, and treatment of this condition, termed “complicated grief,” “traumatic grief,” “prolonged grief,” or “persistent complex bereavement disorder.”

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