What is Grief or Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder (PCBD)?
Complicated grief is a term used to describe a persistent and debilitating form of grief that does not improve over time and can significantly impair a person’s ability to function. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not have a specific diagnosis for complicated grief, but it is recognized as a condition that can be diagnosed under the category of Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder (PCBD).
According to DSM-5, Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder is characterized by persistent and intense symptoms of grief in response to the death of a loved one that lasts for at least 12 months. The symptoms of PCBD include intrusive thoughts or memories of the deceased, intense longing for the deceased, difficulty accepting the death, feeling a sense of meaninglessness, difficulty trusting others, feeling detached from others, and feeling that life is not worth living without the deceased. These symptoms must cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.
It’s worth noting that complicated grief or PCBD is a relatively new concept in the DSM and is still being studied and debated among mental health professionals. Some experts argue that complicated grief should be recognized as a separate diagnosis, while others believe that it is part of the normal grieving process and does not require its own diagnostic category.