PEARL Multidisciplinary Journal

Psychiatric Social Work Intervention in Prolonged Grief Disorder; Case study in Indian context


Loss of a loved one is always painful. When the relationship is deep it is difficult to accept the death of the dear one and it remains unresolved grief. In the West Grief Therapy is widely practiced. In Indian context where the family support system is stronger than the western countries, the incidents of unresolved grief are rare. However of late, the number of unresolved grief is on the increase as per the news reports of increasing suicides among those suffering from unresolved grief. Unfortunately several such cases indicate the symptoms of Affective Disorder or Psychotic Disorders. Only a clear diagnosis could identify the unresolved grief and do proper therapeutic intervention. This study narrates two case studies one of a teenager who lost his father and another is a mother who lost her son. Both showed the symptoms of pathological grief which were falsely diagnosed as Bipolar Affective Disorder and Psychotic symptoms respectively by two different psychiatrists. In the 1st  case after two and half years and in the second after one year they were re-diagnosed as pathological grief and proper grief therapy was given by which the affected individuals could come back to normalcy. The need of multidisciplinary assessment and psychiatric social worker's intervention are stressed as suggested.



Grief Therapy, Family Support System, Psychotic Disorder, Pathological Grief, Social Worker

Author Affiliations

Prince C P

Department of Social Work, Center for Post Graduate Studies and Research, St Philomena College, Puttur, India 


February 2015

Volume 1


No. 1