It’s ok to be sad. Just not forever.
Covid has brought grief into the spotlight. So much so that the American Psychological Association has now made it official, adding Prolonged Grief Disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
We all experience grief, but according to the DSM, it becomes something U.S. doctors can bill insurance companies for when it incapacitates kids for over six months and adults for over 12.
Prolonged Grief Disorder goes beyond the five stages of grief. A person has PGD when they can’t stop thinking about the deceased, which makes their life change in debilitating ways, including:
- intense emotion
- intense loneliness
- emotional numbness
- disbelief in death
- avoidance of reminders that the deceased is deceased
Each one of the above is familiar to anyone who has lost someone. But the length of time and inability to function raise this to the DSM level. The drug naltrexone is currently in trials for grief treatment, and more pharmaceutical research will now likely follow.