5 things that can complicate bereavement when losing a loved one
These facts increase the probabilities of developing complicated grief when losing a loved one.
Psychological grief is one of the most common emotional disturbances that are worked on throughout the psychotherapy process. While it is true that feeling great Pain when losing a loved one is normal and does not in itself constitute a psychological disorder, it is also true that sometimes it can last too long or give way to a feeling that the circumstances are beyond the person.
Here we will focus on those cases in which the situation of loss emotionally overwhelms the person who suffers it, and we will see which are the factors that can give step to that the bereavement is complicated up to the point of needing professional help..
What is psychological grief?
Psychological grief is understood as the phenomenon that occurs when a loss produces a significant emotional alteration in a person, due to the emotional link that united him/her with that which is no longer there.
Normally, the most relevant and painful cases of psychological grief occur after the death of a loved one, although technically they can also occur after the death of a loved one.However, technically, they can also occur after the loss of other important elements for oneself: a home, a job, or even a part of the body, for example. In any case, here we are going to focus on the one that occurs after losing a loved one.
As its name indicates, psychological grief is the grieving process as it is experienced by people, beyond the cultural and anthropological phenomena of expression of the loss, which are easy to observe (rituals, changes in clothing, etc.).
Thus, psychological grief is that which is carried within and subtly expressed through the actions of individuals, being unique to each person. However, in the context of psychology, the term "grief" is often simply used to refer to this phenomenon, given the context from which it is spoken.
Suffering from bereavement is normal, and is part of the experience of loss. However, there are cases in which this discomfort reaches too high a degree of intensity, or gives rise to the appearance of other significant psychological problems, and lasts too long; in these cases there is what we call "complicated grief", an emotional disturbance that is a reason for seeking psychotherapy and is often related to the consolidation of a trauma.
It is important not to let the problem become chronic, since in these cases the memories related to the situation of loss create a very deep and painful emotional maca in our mind, prone to frequently give us a hard time because we are not able to relive those memories in a normal way, from the perspective of someone who has already overcome the situation.
Fortunately, both in cases in which complicated grief is just beginning to occur and in those in which it has already been consolidated, it is possible to achieve a correct emotional management of it all if professional psychological help is available.
5 elements that facilitate the onset of complicated grief
These are some of the factors that increase the risk that bereavement may become complicated and lead to a psychological problem..
However, it should be kept in mind that this is only an increase in probability, and that none of these elements is, by itself, the cause of a persistent or too painful psychological grief. Moreover, there are cases in which none of these criteria is met and yet complicated grief appears, requiring professional help.
1. Presence of previous psychological disturbances
If the person had already developed psychological disorders before and these have not subsided or have not been treated, the combination of this phenomenon with the onset of bereavement can lead to the generation of a new emotional complication. Particularly relevant are the presence of psychopathologies such as major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder..
2. The death of a child
If the person who has died was a minor, especially if it is a son or daughter of the bereaved, the likelihood of a form of problematic bereavement is greatly increased.
3. The death has occurred in a catastrophic event or in a very sudden way.
When the loss has occurred in a violent situation, it is easier for bereavement to occur.When the loss has occurred in a violent situation, it is easier for the mourning to become more complicated.
To a lesser extent, if the death has occurred in a very unexpected way, it is also more likely that, for a long period of time, the person feels that the situation overwhelms him or her. This is because in cases where there were already suspicions that a death would occur in a short time (e.g., in cases of diagnosed severe illness), the person has more time to prepare for this loss.
4. Disturbances associated with stress or anxiety
The feeling of emotional overflow produced by grief can become almost unbearable if the person was already facing a present full of pressures. if the person was already facing a present full of pressures and "fronts to fight on", such as a delicate job situation, lack of money, etc. and "fronts to fight on", such as a delicate work situation, lack of money, etc.
5. Isolation and lack of social support
People who go through the bereavement in a situation of social isolation, especially when it is a self-perceived loneliness, have fewer resources to cope with this experience.They have fewer resources to cope with this experience, and are more likely to have problems in the emotional management of grief.
Are you looking for psychological support in the face of psychological grief?
If you are going through a psychological grief process, contact our team of professionals. At Psicomaster we offer psychotherapy to people of all ages through intervention modalities of proven effectiveness, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or EMDR therapy, among others.
You can count on our services both in our center located in Madrid and through online therapy by video call. On this page you will find more information about how we work, and our contact details.
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(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)