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After her son died of SIDS in , Brandt didn't show signs of complicated grief, but she said that she and her family sought counseling to help them process their grief and their loss. One of Brandt's biggest fears was that she would become a "permanently sad person" and never feel as happy again, she said.

You are not crazy. This is a normal reaction. What you are feeling, how you are feeling, this tremendous loss, this anxiety, this not wanting to get out of bed, this not wanting to function, this is normal -- but it is temporary,'" said Brandt, a historical fiction author in California. A major difference between a normal or healthy grief and a complicated or prolonged grief appears to be, in part, how long the grief continues. Another difference seems to be how much the grief symptoms interrupt daily functioning.

That means that you've accepted that they've gone and you've learned to live with it, because there's no moving on," said Brandt, who now occasionally leads a grief support group at her local church.

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There's not a single day that goes by that I don't think about my son, that something doesn't trigger a memory of him or the pang of loss, but there is a difference between when it first happened and I literally couldn't get out of bed," she said. Complicated grief, the only grief condition described in scientific research, has gone by many names, including prolonged grief, persistent complex bereavement, pathological grief and traumatic grief, said Dr. In and of itself, grief is natural and healthy after a loss, Shear said, but she added that what can be unhealthy is struggling with the difficulty or inability to adapt to the loss -- and when that happens, prolonged or complicated grief can develop.

In the diagnostic handbook of psychiatric disorders -- the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM -- persistent complex bereavement is listed under the category of "conditions for further study. The handbook describes it as experiencing the death of someone with whom you had a close relationship, and since that death, symptoms of the condition occur on more days than not, to a clinically significant degree.

They persist for at least 12 months for bereaved adults but six months for bereaved children. The prevalence of prolonged or complicated grief among those who have experienced a major bereavement has been estimated at 6. Grief may trigger heart attacks.

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Goldstein, of Boston Children's Hospital, said that his study and others contribute to awareness about the many unrecognized parents who may suffer from prolonged grief -- and how prolonged grief is different than depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. How celebrating deceased loved ones can make you happier. Symptoms could include persistent yearning or longing for the deceased; intense sorrow and emotional pain; preoccupation with the deceased; preoccupation with the circumstances of the death; reactive distress to the death, such as self-blame or avoiding places associated with the deceased; and social or identity disruption, such as a desire to die to be with the deceased or having difficulty trusting other people.

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Let's Make Some Magic. Event Schedule. Saturday, October Sunday, October Workshop Packages. Everything you need to run a GriefShare group The GriefShare kit equips you with everything you need to start and grow a GriefShare program at your church. Videos on DVD Thirteen video seminars, averaging 40 minutes in length, on topics important to someone grieving a death.

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Publicity posters Colorful posters sized for display on bulletin boards. Promotional videos Short, powerful video promos to spread the word about GriefShare in worship services, Sunday school classes, small groups, and ministry fairs or tables. Find a Group listing Your GriefShare group gets a free expanded listing on the Find a Group online search engine located on the main GriefShare website. Leader community Each member of your GriefShare team gets free access to special online resources just for leaders.

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