Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder

Losing a loved one is one of the most distressing and, unfortunately, common experiences people face. Most people experiencing normal grief and bereavement have a period of sorrow, numbness, and even guilt and anger. Gradually these feelings ease, and it’s possible to accept loss and move forward.

For some people, feelings of loss are debilitating and don’t improve even after time passes. This is known as complicated grief, sometimes called persistent complex bereavement disorder. In complicated grief, painful emotions are so long lasting and severe that you have trouble recovering from the loss and resuming your own life.


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW160
Diagnosis: Complex Bereavement and Complicated Grief Disorders
US Patients: A minority of the bereaved population
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: F
Age Onset: 61+
Brain Area:
Symptoms: Grief and functional impairment last more than 6-12 months; continuous emotional dysregulaton, social isolation & suicidal thoughts
Progression: Non-western cultures appear to retain the grief and difficulties longer than Western cultures.
Causes: conditions prior to the death, major depression, PTSD and sleep disorders, often make it worse. Low income, pessimistic
Therapies: CGT-Complicated Grief Therapy-a helpful 16-week therapy session.


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • French-Canadian validation of the Traumatic Grief Inventory-Self Report (TGI-SR)
    by Jacques Cherblanc on June 10, 2022

    The Traumatic Grief Inventory Self-Report (TGI-SR), which aims to assess both Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder and Prolonged Grief Disorder, has been validated in several languages. This study sought to validate the French-Canadian version. We conducted an online survey exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on grief. With data from 728 participants, the scale demonstrated high internal consistency, correlated significantly with three other scales known to measure similar concepts,...

  • Bereaved Families: A Qualitative Study of Therapeutic Intervention
    by Valeria Moriconi on March 17, 2022

    CONCLUSIONS: After reviewing the existing bibliography, we have confirmed the lack of specific literature on the problem of grief in parents whose children have died from cancer. Much research has shown that parents who lose a child to cancer want support, and there are still few studies on the most effective interventions for this group.

  • Content overlap analyses of ICD-11 and DSM-5 prolonged grief disorder and prior criteria-sets
    by Maarten C Eisma on January 31, 2022

    CONCLUSIONS: Limited content overlap between PGD(ICD-11) and PGD(DSM-5-TR) and preceding criteria sets may threaten generalizability of past research on phenomenological characteristics of pathological grief to current criteria sets. Similarly, findings obtained with instruments to assess PGD(ICD-11) may not generalize to PGD(DSM-5-TR) and vice versa. Researchers should aim to determine under which circumstances criteria sets for PGD yield similar or distinct characteristics. Convergence of...

  • Grief Reaction
    by Saba Mughal on January 1, 2022

    Grief is a natural and universal response to the loss of a loved one. The grief experience is not a state but a process. Most individuals recover adequately within a year after the loss; however, some individuals experience an extension of the standard grieving process. This condition has been identified as complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder, and it results from failure to transition from acute to integrated grief. Symptoms of acute grief include tearfulness, sadness, and insomnia and...