sometimes known as Prolonged Grief Disorder, is a pathological reaction to loss with long-term symptoms of physical, social and psychological dysfunction. In complicated grief, feelings of loss become incapacitating and stay that way for an uncharacteristic duration.
While all grief is traumatic, some experiences of grief literally become or coexist with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that the loss created. Some people suffer multiple losses at once, which instantly removes much of their life’s structure when those who are now gone comprised their support system. For example, a child’s parents both die in a fire, or a couple find out their daughter and grandchildren have all been killed by their son in law in a murder-suicide. In other situations the grief is complicated by confusion and a profound inability to reconcile events both rationally and spiritually- for example, learning that your spouse is the perpetrator, not the victim, of a horrific crime. It is very confusing to the psyche to process losing a partner under such twisted circumstances.