• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Pathological Grief Reaction

Pathological grief is not a well-defined construct. The term is often used interchangeably with the term complicated grief to describe grief reactions that are more intense and enduring than are typically experienced following a loss. However, the concept of typical grief reaction itself is controversial, as there is little consensus on what constitutes a typical grief reaction. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), indicates that feelings of emptiness, longing, intense sadness, insomnia, poor appetite, and weight loss are normal responses to bereavement. Unless these symptoms severely impair psychosocial functioning for a prolonged time and thus need professional intervention, they are not considered pathological responses to loss.

Although there is no absolute time frame in which grief reactions should decline, the ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles