How long is "too long" to mourn?  Do you think that (PGD) Prolonged Grief Disorder should have a place in the DSM-V?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
This question asks you to make an assertion, and you might make it based on personal opinion to a certain extent. However, if you been asked this question for a class, you still need to support your assertion with support. First of all, you need to define what prolonged grief disorder is. Like many conditions, it is characterized by many factors. First of all, it is a matter of duration and intensity. That means that it matters not just how long the person is grieving for, but how much they are suffering in their grief. Basically, intensity is how much they feel the grief. Duration, of course, is the length of the grief. It makes sense that with the name of the disorder being Prolonged Grief Disorder you would expect duration to be important. There are several factors that affect the disorder. One is where and how the loved one dies. Believe it or not, if the person dies in a hospital, we are more likely to suffer PGD. Hospital deaths can be especially traumatic. This is also related to another risk factor, which is lack of preparation for the death. When a person dies suddenly it can hit us hard. Another factor is the psychological condition of the bereaved. If the person suffers from anxiety, depression, of had attachment disorder as a child, the odds go up. In order to be included in the DSM, the scientific community has to agree that the disorder is relevant, unique, and has been studied enough and around enough to be included in the manual. Complicated grief has been discussed and studied at least since Prigerson and Jacobs produced the taxonomy in 2001. Whether it needs to be included in the DSM V or not is still being debated by psychiatrists, but you get to make your own suggestion.
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders probably contains something relative to the condition of being selfish or self-centered, Prolonged Grief Disorder could be included in this manual since there comes a point at which grief can become selfishness. For, according to psychologists, people cry and grieve sometimes because there is an emptiness in their lives by the final absence of a loved one. They miss their loved one for different reasons, but, certainly, one of them is the absence of the love of this person, the happiness and comfort this person brings, the opportunities this person provides the other, and so on. In other words, the deceased or departed has done things for the one who remains, and this person, sometimes, does not want to lose these benefits. Especially when the grief is prolonged, the element of selfishness becomes evident as the person is really feeling sorry for him/herself.

mchandrea | Student

Mourning is a normal process that is undergone by people when someone they love dies. Grief is also normal. I do not think that there is a specific or allotted time to mourn. You can't just tell someone whom you think has been mourning for too long that it's "times up" and that they need to move on now. I think this is very subjective, but it is very important that the people who mourn, we who are left behind have strong and emotionally stable people around us in a sensitive time like this. Actually, we can help these people move on and carry on with their lives. Each of us has different ways to cope up.

Prolonged grief disorder being included in the DSM-V is still under debate. I am not in the position to say that it should or should not be included. In my opinion, it would be better to leave this to the professionals.

parama9000 | Student

It really depends on how severely one is upset and the period one is upset for, but that is subjective. There is no common definition as to what is normal for grieving, so there is no definition to what is not normal.

laurto | Student

I feel like everyone mourns for different times, and it all depends on who you are and what/who you're mourning and what effect they had on your life. I don't believe that you can mourn for too long because everyone heals in a different way. Prolonged grief disorder being placed is in the DSM-V is still being decided by professionals, and because I honestly have no experience with this disorder, I wouldn't want to say that it should or shouldn't. 

rachellopez | Student

When you lose a friend or a loved one, it is common to feel sad and mourn for a while. However, how long is "too long" may vary based on who it is and on how the person is acting. To be diagnosed with Prolonged Grief Disorder the symptoms would include anger, sadness, guilt, despair, overwhelm, denial, betrayal, emptiness, anxiety, and the decline of your general health. Since there is a lot of studies and information about the disorder I would assume that this could qualify for DSM, but it is still up for debate.