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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 ...

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