Atenção Urgente Deve Ser Direcionada para os Desafios de Saúde Mental Emergentes do Luto Prolongado Durante e Após a COVID-19

To the Editor,
The enduring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our society is notably reflected in the realms of grief and mental health. The repercussions of sudden deaths, decreased social support, job losses, and social isolation have given rise to prolonged grief disorder (PGD), which may significantly affect daily functioning for over six months after a loss.1-3 This disorder was defined by Prigerson in 2009 as a continuous desire, concern with the departed, and deep emotional pain that produces significant functional impairment and lasts longer than six months following the loss.3 Intense grief correlates with higher risks of chronic diseases, cancer, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts,4,5 along with poorer quality of life. Anxiety is a typical aspect of grieving,6 and depression is linked to complicated grief.7 Evidence indicates a prevalence rate of 66.5% of PGD in COVID-19 deaths,8 highlighting the urgent need to address mental health challenges arising from the pandemic’s impact on grief.

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