Time to grieve: Addressing bereavement challenges during COVID-19

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COVID-19-related social distancing has a major impact on the grieving process in a number of ways. Especially earlier in the pandemic. Photo: Pexels


(Batya Swift Yasgur/ Psychiatry Advisor) — Grief is a normal, albeit sad and challenging, part of life. All human beings will experience loss of a loved one at some point and will experience grief. Although acute grief is usually self-limited, we never fully stop grieving. But individuals whose grief remains intense and impairing for more than a year are said to experience “prolonged grief disorder” (PGD) or “complicated grief” (CG).

A recent article in Psychiatry Advisor explored approaches to CG/PGD. This follow-up article focuses on the unique challenges of addressing grief caused by the loss of a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of mid-February 2021, the coronavirus had claimed the lives of over 482,500 individuals in the United States, each associated with an estimated nine bereaved individuals. The pandemic poses unprecedented challenges to the grieving process, setting the stage for more complex and prolonged reactions on the part of those who have lost loved ones. (…)

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