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What can make grieving particularly difficult?

Getting through grief is always difficult, but research shows certain factors can make it harder. The path tends to be rougher if you:
  • had an ambivalent, angry, conflicted, or highly dependent relationship with the deceased
  • have experienced multiple deaths or important losses
  • have suffered from depression or another mental illness
  • have low self-esteem
Circumstances surrounding the death also make a difference. Grieving may be harder if:
  • the death was unexpected or untimely
  • the death was traumatic or violent
  • the death was from suicide or a stigmatized illness, such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • you bear some responsibility for the death, such as involvement in a car or gun accident
  • you helped care for the deceased for more than six months
  • you were unable to perform cultural rituals of importance to you
  • you have little social support
  • you have few opportunities to meet others or engage in new pursuits
  • you are under stress from other crises
If any of these apply, consider whether you may need extra time or support to deal with your grief. Joining a grief support group or talking with a grief counselor or therapist might be especially helpful in these circumstances.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.