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Author worries prolonged grief disorder could skew how we perceive trauma and loss

Earlier this year, the American Psychiatric Association added a new disorder to the guidebook that clinicians use to diagnose mental health conditions, known as the DSM-5.

It’s called “prolonged grief disorder” and is defined as “intense yearning or longing for the deceased (often with intense sorrow and emotional pain), and preoccupation with thoughts or memories of the deceased.”

But Rebecca Soffer says grief is personal, and doesn’t necessarily follow a specific timeline.

Soffer is the author of “The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience.” She’s also co-founder of the Modern Loss website and community. 

The Show spoke with her and asked about the new diagnosis and whether she thinks there’s a right amount of time one should grieve, or if it’s the kind of situation that whatever it is, it is.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.