However, as described later, this period may be substantially extended for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The hallmarks of “healing” from the death of a loved one are the ability of the bereaved to recognize that they have grieved, to be able to
think of the deceased with equanimity, to return to work, to re-experience pleasure, and to be able to seek the companionship and love of others.13-15 For many, new capacities, wisdom, unrecognized strengths, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical new and meaningful relationships, and broader perspectives emerge in the aftermath of loss. However, a small percentage of individuals are not able to come to such a resolution and go on to develop a “complicated grief” Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical reaction.16 Complicated grief CG is a bereavement reaction in which acute grief is prolonged, causing distress and interfering with functioning. The bereaved may feel longing and yearning that does not substantially abate with time and may experience difficulty re-establishing a meaningful life Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical without the person who died. The pain of the loss stays fresh and healing does not occur. The bereaved person feels stuck; time moves forward but the
intense grief remains. Symptoms include recurrent and intense pangs of grief and a preoccupation with the person who died mixed with avoidance of reminders of the loss. The bereaved may have recurrent intrusive images of the death, while positive memories may be blocked or interpreted as sad, or experienced in prolonged states of reverie that interfere with daily activities. Life might feel so empty and the yearning may be so strong Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical that the bereaved may also
feel a strong desire to join their loved one, leading to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Alternatively, the pain from the loss may be so intense that their own death may feel like the only possible Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical outlet of relief. Some reports suggest that as many as 10% to 20% of bereaved individuals develop CG.17,18 Notably, survivors of suicide loss are at higher risk of developing CG.11,19 CG is associated with poor functional, psychological, and selleck inhibitor physical outcomes. Individuals with CG often have impairments in their daily functioning, occupational functioning, and social functioning.20-23 enough They have increased rates of psychiatric comorbidity,19,24-26 including higher rates of comorbid major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, individuals with CG are at higher risk for suicidal ideation and behavior.27-32 Additionally, CG is associated with poor physical health outcomes.33,34 Overall, untreated CG results in suffering, impairment, and poor health outcomes, and will persist indefinitely without treatment. Bereavement after suicide Suicide survivors often face unique challenges that differ from those who have been bereaved by other types of death.