PreventionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
It's not clear how to prevent complicated grief. Getting counseling or psychotherapy soon after a loss may help, especially for people at increased risk of developing complicated grief. In addition, caregivers providing end-of-life care for a loved one may benefit from counseling and support to help prepare for death and its emotional aftermath.
Sept. 13, 2014
- Counseling. Through early counseling, you can explore emotions surrounding your loss and learn healthy coping skills. This may help prevent negative thoughts and beliefs from gaining such a strong hold that they're difficult to overcome.
- Talking. Talking about your grief and allowing yourself to cry also can help prevent you from getting stuck in your sadness. As painful as it is, trust that in most cases, your pain will start to lift if you allow yourself to feel it.
- Support. Family members, friends, group therapy and social support groups are all good options to help you work through your grief. You may be able to find a support group focused on a particular type of loss, such as death of a spouse or a child. Ask your doctor to recommend local resources.
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- Shear MK, et al. Complicated grief and related bereavement issues for DSM-5. Depression and Anxiety. 2011;28:103.
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- Grief, bereavement, and coping with loss (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/bereavement/HealthProfessional. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
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