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Prolonged Grief Disorder Caused by COVID-19 –A Thought by Brian C Jensen

The loss of loved ones to the pandemic has affected millions of Americans, leaving them to grieve. Some of them may not even get over it for an unusually long period. Brian C Jensen says due to this, living life can become a burden for them. Bereaved individuals may fail to focus on their job or run away from their homes or loved ones. Even if some people continue to live somewhat normally, they may also feel like dying. All these experiences and emotions can be harmful to their body and mind. They can also suffer inflammation and heart ailments.

According to mental health experts, you can refer to this psychiatric condition as prolonged grief disorder or complicated grief. It can linger for months, a year, or so. It is more dangerous compared to normal grieving. And you can expect this to be one of the significant mental health concerns in the coming years after the pandemic.

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The health implications of the disorder

Many people can continue to mourn the loss of their dear ones while moving forward in their everyday lives. They can cry, take a rest. It would allow them to get back to their daily lives. However, some can witness another trauma preventing them from recovering if they don’t take professional help. These people can succumb to substance abuse or suicidal tendencies. 

Brian C Jensen says that certain conditions have led to prolonged grief disorder during the pandemic. Apart from the death of close ones, these include the uncertain future, financial sufferings, travel restrictions, etc.

The treatment options for the disorder

Months of therapy can offer some relief from prolonged grief. These mainly focus on people’s behavior and responses. In this process, the professionals can help the patient to understand or come to terms with grief, handle emotional pain, focus on the future, work on the existing relationships, live with memories, talk about the story of death, etc.  At the same time, some experts believe that the therapeutic alliance between doctors and patients would work better if it involves active listening. For example, encouraging patients to share their stories of the loved ones they lost to the pandemic and their relationship is part of the procedure.

Health experts say that there is no vaccine for the grief pandemic. However, if you know someone suffering from suicidal thoughts after losing their close ones to the virus, you can help them connect with the suicide prevention centers for immediate help and guidance. The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc on many aspects of human lives at different levels. However, mental health issues are one of the worst effects of this. Although with vaccination the life is slowly getting back on track, you cannot still take a sigh of relief if you don’t allow yourself to come to terms with your grief. Normal grieving is a natural response that you will have due to the loss of someone very close. Still, with time, you have to accept the reality and move on; if you cannot do it alone, seek help for your own sake.

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