00135 Complicated grieving

00135 Complicated grieving

Definition of the NANDA label

Failure or prolongation in the use of intellectual and emotional responses through which individuals, families and communities try to overcome the process of modification of the self-concept caused by the perception of loss.

A disorder that occurs after the death of a significant other, in which the experience of distress accompanying bereavement fails to follow normative expectations and manifests in functional impairment.

Defining characteristics

• Repeated use of ineffective behaviors associated with attempts to reinvest in relationships.
• Relive past experiences with little or no reduction (decrease) in grief intensity.
• Onset or exacerbation of somatic or psychosomatic responses.
• Expression of suffering for the loss.
• Denial of loss.
• Expressions of guilt.
• Expressions of unresolved issues.
• Cholera.
• Sadness.
• Crying.
• Difficulty expressing the loss.
• Alteration in eating habits, sleep pattern, activity level, libido, concentration or performance of tasks.
• Idealization of the lost object (eg, people, possessions, work, position, home, ideals, body parts and processes).
• Interference with daily life.
• Regression in development.
• Affective lability.

Related factors


• Neurosis prior to loss.
• Psychological symptoms prior to the loss.
• Frequency of important life events.
• Predisposition to anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.
• History of psychiatric or mental health treatment.


• Advanced gestational age at the time of loss.
• Little time between a perinatal loss and subsequent conception.
• Duration of the child’s life.
• Lack of other living children.
• Congenital anomalies.
• Number of previous perinatal losses.
• Marriage adjustment problems.
• Vision of images of the fetus by ultrasound.

At risk population

• Death of significant other


• Psychosocial adaptation. Life change.
• Grief resolution.
• Overcoming problems.
• Overcoming family problems.


• Facilitate grief.
• Advice.
• Increase coping.
• Stimulation of family integrity.
• Family therapy.