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Terry
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« on: February 08, 2012, 04:37:56 PM »

This series is for all boards but I thought it would be beneficial to post it on the Main Board. Although our losses are very different, I feel everyone can relate to being "stuck" in their grief.

We're also going to be voting, once a month on the most 'shared', and that would include articles/videos/responses, 'productive' and both beneficial to the members, on this subject. Once this member, who has been chosen by the other members is deemed the most helpful for that month, their posts will be permanently *stickied* and saved in a thread on Webhealing and will remain as a reference to all new members coming onto the board. If the majority of the members do not agree with this idea/suggestion, just let me know and we'll scratch it! This is *your* board and your opinion matters!

NOTE: When sharing videos/articles/responses and to avoid any confusion, please post the appropriate information under the specific thread. If you're posting an article on the 'symptoms' of complicated grief, be sure to post it on the thread titled 'Symptoms.' We will have other threads relating to this subject and they will include symptoms and treatment options. This first thread is titled, "Introduction." So, feel free to introduce your ideas on this subject as it will also give us a better idea as to how many are interested in participating. Thanks!


This series on "Complicated Grief" may give an insight as to the sypmtoms experienced and may alleviate the fear that accompanies these symptoms. At one time or another, and I know that *I* have, how many of us thought we were losing our minds?

Some of the symptoms mentioned describing "Complicated Grief" mimic the emotions/symptoms while experiencing 'normal' grief. Taking into consideration the articles in their entirety will help to better understand why this is a disorder that can cause some to become "stuck" in their grief and unable to continue with their lives in a productive and healthy manner as with "Complicated Grief" those do not move forward.

I've tried to compile the most informative articles/videos from professionals specializing in grief, especially complicated grief. Please feel free to submit your own videos/articles relating to the study and treatment of complicated grief. I've found that some cannot be 'shared' and this information is specifically stated on their website, as a warning. Also, certain YouTube videos will also state a warning that their video cannot be embedded. If you have a doubt or a question, please contact me.

Medical Information that some may find helpful: PGD (prolonged grief disorder) is being considered for inclusion in 2012, into the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and the ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases)

I felt hopeful when learning of this, as so many are unable to return to work due to their inability to concentrate and make sound decisions. I work from my home but if I had to return to a job after losing one of my children, I would not have been able to. My heart goes out to so many who are forced to work so soon after a great loss and the help others may soon be able to receive is very good news for those struggling financially right now.


My suggestion would be to read each weekly article and those who may be able to relate to what's shared, can offer how they feel and how it relates to their particular situation and then we can discuss it as a group. Or, if you have experienced "Complicated Grief" and their symptoms in the past and would like to contribute by sharing what has helped you, that would be wonderful as it would be helping everyone else, too! By sharing our own experiences, we're always able to help another.

When we can help "One" person, we are helping everyone!

As with anything posted, Take The Best, and Leave The Rest. And... If it Doesn't Apply, Let It Fly! This is a lot of information, so take your time to absorb it all but I thought it best to post the information in it's entirety so you may read it in your leisure time!

Enjoy the series!

Love,
Terry

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Presentation by Diana Sebzda.

Diana has a Masters in Applied Clinical Psychology. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Thanatologist that specializes in Grief Counseling, with an interest in children with grief and pet loss. She has been a speaker on topics such as Anticipatory Grief, Caregiver Stress, Compassion Fatigue, Pet Loss, Grief Education, Children in Grief and Coping with the Holidays.  

Part #1 - Complicated Grief - An introduction



« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 04:40:38 PM by Terry » Logged

"The amount of grief one feels is in direct proportion to the amount of love one felt." From C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed.
Doug1222
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 05:26:59 PM »

Thank you, Terry!
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Terry
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 08:43:37 PM »


Your Welcome, Doug! Thanks for your comment as I appreciate you're reading!
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"The amount of grief one feels is in direct proportion to the amount of love one felt." From C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed.
Terry
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 12:05:13 PM »

I understand, Helene as my Father's death has, once again brought my Mother's to the forefront.

"One death triggers ALL deaths. Your present grief triggers ALL grief." ~Dr. Susan Block

I, too have unresolved issues from my Mother's death. She died in 1977. She was never sick. Young. Beautiful and in every way. She was my Mother. My friend. The babysitter for my children. She was everything to me. And, right now I am feeling so much sadness and grieving for, not only my Father but for all of my losses.

Take the word 'crazy' and delete it from your vocabulary because a severe emotional response and reactions to loss causes a chemical imbalance in our brains and though they refer to this as a 'mental disorder'....it's simply because what's going on up there is not in the natural order of how they perceive the grieving process to be according to their "all too famous, stages of grief' and when it causes us to become stuck, we cease to thrive normally. I have OCD, but I'm not crazy. We all have something that doesn't work perfectly so understanding this first and foremost will allow us to move forward in a positive way, without the labels that so many attach to us.

Painful grieving is a normal response to loss. It's when we continue to experience the same intensity and inability to accept the loss, over a long period of time that causes it to become complicated and prevents us from living our lives and ever finding joy or happiness again.

Share about your Dad, as much as you are able. Telling our story over and over again is how we work through our grief in a healthy manner. I would like to hear about the relationship you had with your Dad.

Grief can be exhausting and grieving with unresolved issues can feel never-ending as we see no hope in sight. It's a problem like any other that needs to be resolved if we're ever going to move forward in our lives.

Thanks for sharing this, Helene.

((((((((Helene))))))))

Always here for you.

Love,
Terry

« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 01:53:29 PM by Terry » Logged

"The amount of grief one feels is in direct proportion to the amount of love one felt." From C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed.
helene
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 01:01:49 PM »

This is such a good place to be! Thank you Terry for your beautiful, open, honest and encouraging post above. You write with such warmth and elequance  and heart-felt beauty that I feel tongue-tied trying to respond. Is this now the place where we can try to tell the stories of a grief that will never go away? Because the stories - our accounts of years of suffering in many cases - will be long and complex indeed.

I'll just say a bit here regarding my Dad. I was in first year university when he died. I struggled on trying to complete a 4 year honor degree in music but had a nervous breakdown just before finishing. I could feel it coming on and tried to tell my proffs  - to drop out instead of failing everything - but they wouldn't listen to me. Said I was fine. I had the breakdown one month before the end of those 4 years and failed and ended up with no degree at all until years later. I cut my wrists. I was annorexic and suicidal. Still I managed to get married and teach violin, then work on a hospital pediatric ward creating a music program. I then added archives to my careers and ended up with ful time work in that. However, I suffer from chronic insomnia and countless other problems. Huge abandonment issues plague me, especially whenever my husband goes away on holiday (we have no children). I often drink too much. And it goes on. I've wondered if I'm manic depressive, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, and know that I suffer froma slew of dissociative dissorders (including dissociative amnesia) and I've certainy read many, many medical book so I can 'talk-the-talk- on 'mental problems'.  Why all these disorders (and much more no doubt) - ? Because of a grief that is so deep rooted within me that I can't consciously remember when it started, but I know it started when I was very little when my Dad started leaving home ( I don't blame him - things were desperate financially and emotionally for him and he needed to go somewhere else to gather himself and earn some money for the family - whatever was left of the 'family')- going away again and again - and my mother, is cold adn unloving, manipulative and even ruthless at timess. I depended on my Dad for any love and when he was gone the bottom felel out of my world. There. I'll stop there for now. You see how difficult it is to write about all this because there's so much adn it is so horribly exhausting. I feel today like I'm going to collapse I am so severely exhausted.  Thank you for reading this adn being there. (Sorry for typos.)

Love, Helene
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 03:55:11 PM »

Terry - Thank you for this...I think I need this now. Look forward to more.

Helene - I understand what you mean to an extent about your Dad...I had all my eggs in one basket too so to speak. When my Dad died, everything went with him...I don't know how to move on from that. I wish I had the answers.
I am so sorry for all you have been through.  From what you have written here it seems like a lot of weight.  Write more when you can as it IS healing in some way. thoughts are with you.
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Terry
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 09:30:25 PM »

Factors of Complicated Grief

-Information compiled from open blogs and shared by Psychologists and Grief Counselors.

Complicated grief is the name used for grief and loss process which the bereaved person seems “to be stuck” in, it actually becomes a way of life for the bereaved.

Grief is, in fact, a natural response of a person to the death of a loved one, family member or a friend; it is experienced individually every time by each of us. Though there are no particular time limits for the grief and loss process and the time it is supposed to last, psychologists and health care specialists say that when the bereaved is unable to move forward in life, and this may be after many years after the loss of a loved one then we enter an area where we are dealing with many complications to our grief. Both anticipated (in case of a terminal illness) and unexpected grief and loss, and through the process later can turn into complicated grief due to a number of factors:


Factors of complicated grief and loss process:
The factor of the relationship. It is a very important and influential factor for grieving and loss process. It really matters how close the bereaved and the departed were. The risk of complicated grief increases if the relations were too close and the bereaved was too much emotionally dependent on the passed away.
The factor of circumstances. The risk of difficult grief and loss process is higher in cases of an unexpected death, for example suicide. The bereaved may acquire guilt complex of not being able to prevent the terrible event and being fully responsible for it.
Death of several close people. In this case the supporting of a grieving person is complicated by the fact that he or she experiences the loss of a loved one either not for the first time or the loss is multiple (as a result of a terrorist act or car accident). This really complicates the grief and loss process.
Emotional strength. The way and result of handling grief and loss process depends also on the character qualities of the bereaved. It is very important to have the inner ability to cope and live on without being stuck in a continuous mourning. If a person is not that strong emotionally, doesn’t have enough support, deprived financially or isolated – all this increases his or her chance to go into a complicated grief.
Social life factors. There are cases when the bereaved lives in poor social conditions (domestic violence, poor housing, poverty, etc.) and thus he or she doesn’t have any access to social networks, communication facilities or appropriate systems of supporting a grieving person. Grief and loss practice is likely to become complicated and difficult.
 
Let's break these down, one at a time:

~The factor of the relationship. A healthy relationship compared to one filled with conflict. In a codependent relationship where joy in our lives depends solely on the joy in our loved ones life. Separation anxiety would be greater in this type of relationship.

~The factor of circumstances. If our loved one took their own life, their is a lot of guilt associated with this type of loss. Unlike the 'normal' guilt felt when our loved one dies.

~Death of several close people. Some have lost their entire family in accidents. This type of loss can create a sense of overwhelming grief and it could be debilitating. Further robbing us of the ability to cope with such devastating loss without seeking professional help.

~Emotional strength. How we handled or did not handle our losses in the past, for example; job loss; separation; divorce. Or a loss of any other kind could be a factor in our difficulty to handle a loss through death.

~Social life factors. Do we have the means to communicate with others in order to receive support? Can we participate in online support groups or is a device for such support unavailable to us? Are we able to socialize and maintain contact with others. If we do not, this could cause us to feel isolated, alone and hopeless.

Can you relate to any of these factors?

I can relate to "Social life factors" and it's importance when grieving as I was confined to my home and if it weren't for this message board and the support and understanding I received, I believe it would have severely affected my chances for ever finding the compassion that I sorely needed. The interaction with others who understood my devastation and never feeling alone, was key to lightening my heavy heart. I have made, what I believe to be lifelong friends while sharing my feelings on this message board. Had I not received this support, it would have complicated my grieving process.
~Terry


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"The amount of grief one feels is in direct proportion to the amount of love one felt." From C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed.
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 12:57:58 PM »

Hello Terry and everyone here.

Back in 2009 I posted this up on this site regarding complicated grief (on the recommended reading" section of this forum, under my thread "Dark Emotions".  I feel it is a most important issue needing much discussion and outreach.

http://forum.psychlinks.ca/showthread.php?t=9345

"Signs and symptoms of complicated grief can include:

Extreme focus on the loss and reminders of the loved one
Intense longing or pining for the deceased
Problems accepting the death
Numbness or detachment
Preoccupation with your sorrow
Bitterness about your loss
Inability to enjoy life
Depression or deep sadness
Difficulty moving on with life
Trouble carrying out normal routines
Withdrawing from social activities
Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose
Irritability or agitation
Lack of trust in others
Causes
It's not known what causes complicated grief. As with many mental health disorders, it may involve a complex interaction between your genes, environment, your body's natural chemical makeup and your personality. "

Very best to everyone
Seven

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helene
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 02:42:41 PM »

Hi Cokieslittlegirl,

I wouldn't wish what we are suffering on anyone although I am well aware, as I am sure you are, that we are not alone. With many families the mother is the main source of love but for me that was and remains nothing but a nightmare. (Not saying this was the case for you though, regarding your mother.) I know my Dad loved me - despite all that held him back in life and kept him away from me and no, I do not idolize him either. (Later I would discover that my father indeed had faults: besides leaving us so many times - no matter his reason - he had a propensity towards sarcasm, impatience, self-rightiousness, secrets, an explosive temper and various other defficiencies. But I always intinctually felt - even as a child before I could ever understand these aspects of human character in any psychological or humanistic way - that my Dad was still very intrinsically a TRUE HUMAN BEING - what with all his faults - he - my Dad - still loved me.

My mother was another story. Her mother, my Nana Lillian and then, later on my Uncle Basil, both said to various people who have since relaid this to me: "Your mother - was - shall we say - not - like - other people."  More on all this to come but I will post this somewhere else as this is a main info section and I am hogging it. Sorry.


((((((Cokieslittlegirl))))))


Love,

Helene
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Terry
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 03:43:23 PM »


I feel it is a most important issue needing much discussion and outreach


I agree, Seven and thank you for pointing this fact out. The studies on PGD have concluded that a very small percentage of those grieving experience PGD or complicated grief. From what I have read back in 2002 and what has been learned since, the numbers are growing as further studies have found that a much higher percentage suffer from PGD.

If we can get passed the 'labels' that so many of us resist as I, too have resisted being labeled as having a disorder, and staying open to what the latest studies have uncovered, then we can all learn more about ourselves and by doing so, take much better care of ourselves, labels or not. It's only by lowering our defenses that we're able to live a fuller and richer life and find what we all strive to find and ultimately, that is peace.

Take care, Seven!

Love,
Terry

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"The amount of grief one feels is in direct proportion to the amount of love one felt." From C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed.
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 04:25:21 PM »

Thank you for that, Terry, and for your kind wishes. 
Grief, for want of a better term, "ordinary grief" is bad enough without the pain, as is too often the case, of "no closure", or complicated emotions in relation to the deceased throughout life.

I don't think it is that more people are experiencing complicated grief, but rather that more are prepared to state the reasons why they are experiencing that kind of grief.  The family was all too often a taboo subject, off limits, always "perfect",  no such thing as dysfunction, everyone was lovely to everyone else.  I feel it is a healthy sign that these issues are being aired.  Denial is a terrible thing.

You will have I am sure heard the saying: "Speak no ill of the dead". 
I wonder.....

The very best to everyone.  In particular peace of mind and soul.

Seven
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Terry
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 12:06:03 PM »


I don't think it is that more people are experiencing complicated grief, but rather that more are prepared to state the reasons why they are experiencing that kind of grief. 


I have found this to be true, also. Our means of communicating has increased over the years due to the internet alone. It was shared with me that were it not for the anonymity in sharing, that they would have kept their toxic secrets forever. Some secrets can remain private and then others are eating away at us and causes the dysfunction, the confusion and our inability to grow. The truth shall set us free! Yes, always!

Most people share only what they are comfortable with us knowing about them. Denial is a terrible thing, I agree. They are denying themselves any chance of feeling emotionally healthy. What's to be lost in the truth?

I wonder, too but I believe the truth is the only way. We have all been brainwashed by labels.

Terry
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 02:30:08 PM »

This is an interesting discussion. Thanks for starting it, Terry.

I have what's actually a funny story concerning "speaking ill of the dead". I've always hated that saying, by the way. I speak of the dead however they earned when they were living.

Aside from that, my paternal grandpa died in the early '90s. He was in his '90s (born in 1900). I wasn't at the funeral. I can't remember where I was, but I wasn't able to make it back. He lived across the street from us after my grandma had a stroke in the early '80s. My dad moved him there so he could help take care of his mom, but she never came home from the hospital. We ended up stuck with that MEAN OLD MAN across the street. Nobody ever saw him when he wasn't hateful and mean. My dad always said he was a mean old man when he was young. He was mean and hateful to everyone all the time. He denied my sister even existed. That's how mean he was. He'd say,"Who's that girl?" "That's Doug's daughter." "Dougie doesn't have a daughter!" This is right in front of my sister!! He wasn't senile. Just mean. I always felt sorry for my grandma who was married to him for sixty years. Everybody did. She was a wonderful woman.

Anyway, I have a cousin who's a Baptist minister. He did the funeral. He's the oldest cousin and was intimately acquainted with my grandpa. He said,"I wish I could say something nice about this man, but unfortunately, I can't. Now his behavior in his life is between him and God. I pray for the family he left behind."

That was the entire eulogy. People actually applauded. It was one of the very few, honest eulogies anybody had ever heard. I've always respected that.

Sorry for the sidetrack, but that saying just reminded me of that. Thanks again for sharing, everybody!
Doug
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 04:00:23 PM »

Hello Doug:

Bravo for that Baptist minister!  I respect him too.  And the more people do this, the better. 
People need to be brave and speak out, and they might be surprised to find that others actually applaud them.

Sweeping under  the carpet has gone on for far too long.

Best wishes to you
Seven
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 05:20:23 PM »

Bravo for that Baptist minister!  I respect him too.

Thanks, Seven! That was my cousin, Michael, who did Grandpa's funeral. I have another cousin named Ed who's a Baptist minister, too. They both did Michael's mom's funeral, and it was beautiful. My aunt Theresa was a lovely woman. She raised Ed after both of his parents died, and his eulogy made me cry. He was thanking her. It still brings a tear to my eye. 

I agree with you. People should get the eulogy they earned. That's always been my view.
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