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Unresolved Grief

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

There is no definite point in time or a list of symptoms that define unresolved grief. Unresolved grief lasts longer than usual for a person's social circle or cultural background. It may also be used to describe grief that does not go away or interferes with the person's ability to take care of daily responsibilities.

Unresolved grief tends to be more common in people who:

How people express unresolved grief varies. People may:

In addition to the list above, teens may show unresolved grief by using illegal drugs, taking part in illegal activities (such as stealing), or having unprotected sex. They may also become more accident-prone, avoid their friends, and have difficulty completing school work.

Young children may show unresolved grief by developing behavior problems or expressing fears about being alone, especially at night.

People with unresolved grief who do not seek treatment are more likely to develop complications such as depression as a result of grieving.


Credits for Unresolved Grief

Current as of: February 18, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Jean S. Kutner MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine


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