References for "Beyond the five stages of grief"

Kübler-Ross E. On Death and Dying (Routledge, 1969). Okun, B., et al. Saying Goodbye: How Families Can Find Renewal Through Loss (Berkley, 2011). Parkes C. Bereavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life (Routledge, 2010). (Locked) More »

References for "Coping with complicated grief"

Newson RS, et al. "The Prevalence and Characteristics of Complicated Grief in Older Adults," Journal of Affective Disorders (July 2011): Vol. 132, No. 1–2, pp. 231–8. Prigerson HG, et al. "Prolonged Grief Disorder: Psychometric Validation of Criteria Proposed for DSM-V and ICD-11," PLoS Medicine (Aug. 2009): Electronic publication. Shear K, et al. "Treatment of Complicated Grief: A Randomized Controlled Trial," Journal of the American Medical Association (June 1, 2005): Vol. 293, No. 21, pp. 2601–8. (Locked) More »

References for "The normal process of grieving"

Hirsch M, ed. Coping with Grief and Loss: A Guide to Healing (Harvard Health Publications, 2010). Shear MK, et al. "Complicated Grief and Related Bereavement Issues for DSM-5," Depression and Anxiety (Feb. 2011): Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 103–17. (Locked) More »

References for "Understanding grief and loss"

Hirsch M, ed. Coping with Grief and Loss: A Guide to Healing (Harvard Health Publications, 2010). Mojtabai R. "Bereavement-Related Depressive Episodes: Characteristics, 3-Year Course, and Implications for the DSM-5," Archives of General Psychiatry (Sept. 2011): Vol. 68, No. 9, pp. 920–8. Shear MK, et al. "Complicated Grief and Related Bereavement Issues for DSM-5," Depression and Anxiety (Feb. 2011): Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 103–17. (Locked) More »

Understanding grief and loss

Sooner or later, everyone will grieve the loss of a close relative or friend. Although grief is nearly universal, it expresses itself in many different ways and at times resembles major depression. Frequent crying spells, depressed mood, sleep disturbances, and loss of appetite are common during the bereavement process, for example. Even so, mental health professionals have typically viewed the process of grieving as a normal response to loss and not an illness to be treated. In this issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, we look closely at the nature of grief. Does grief have stages, or is it less linear? What can people do to help themselves? And how does someone know when it's time to get help? We also offer advice for patients and resources for more information. (Locked) More »

The normal process of grieving

The process of grieving often brings a variety of emotional and physical states that may be complicated by the circumstances of the deceased's life and death. (Locked) More »

Beyond the five stages of grief

The concept of distinct and discrete stages of grief has evolved to incorporate the understanding that a person's experience of bereavement is rarely linear. (Locked) More »

A guide to getting through grief

Losing a close friend or family member can be devastating. All the small details of daily life — getting out of bed, making meals, going to appointments, taking care of children, handling responsibilities at work — may seem monumentally hard or inconsequential. It is important for people to let the nonessentials slide and focus on ways to get through this difficult time. Dr. Michael Hirsch, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and medical editor of Harvard Medical School's Special Health Report Coping with Grief and Loss: A Guide to Healing, offers the following advice. Although some tips may seem basic, they are vital for enabling people who are grieving to work through the process. (Locked) More »

Coping with complicated grief

Grief can be so intense and long-lasting that it sometimes resembles a psychiatric disorder. As many as 50% of widows and widowers, for example, develop symptoms typical of major depression in the first few months after a spouse dies. They may also have hallucinatory experiences — imagining that the dead are still alive, feeling their presence, hearing them call out. These symptoms, upsetting as they may be, are usually normal responses to a profound loss. In most people, the symptoms ease over time. One review noted that 15% of people who are grieving are depressed one year after a loss. By two years, the proportion falls to 7%. But if the symptoms are intense enough to interfere with relationships, work, school, and other areas of life, the problem may be complicated grief — a term that describes a grieving process that is particularly difficult. Also known as protracted or chronic grief, it combines features of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — which is why some professionals call it traumatic grief. One study estimated that nearly 5% of all older adults were experiencing complicated grief. (Locked) More »