Prolonged Grief Disorder

What is Prolonged Grief Disorder?

Dr. Lynn Heselton, PsyD, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC

1/14/20231 min read

Prolonged Grief Disorder (F43.8) is a newly recognized mental health diagnosis in the 2022 publication of the DSM-5-TR. This is a severe grief condition that can be identified in adults one year after the death of a loved one. Prolonged Grief is associated with intense yearning for the deceased person and frequent thoughts about their death. In addition, the bereaved person experiences three of the following symptoms: a disruption in identity, shock and disbelief about the death, avoidance of reminders about the deceased person, intense emotional pain, problems connecting with people in one's life, intense emotional pain, emotional numbness, feeling that life is meaningless and intense loneliness.

Psychotherapy for Prolonged Grief Disorder with Dr. Heselton can rapidly improve grief, sometimes in as little as one or two 2-hour session(s), following the initial evaluation. This psychotherapy consists of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) to resolve the upsetting memories associated with the person's death. This part of the treatment focuses on resolving the shock, disbelief and intense emotional distress surrounding the circumstances of the person's death. The next part of treatment involves Revisioning Therapy to restore the pre-trauma self and positive memories of your deceased loved one.