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What Are the Risks of Disenfranchised Grief?

Some people experience grief that may be interrupted or not fully experienced. Factors that influence grief are complex but they may include having to return to work right away, dealing with mental health issues, and coping with unresolved feelings that lead to negative behaviors like addiction and substance use disorder. Disenfranchised grief can lead or contribute to complicated grief where a person feels overwhelmed by the loss but cannot seem to move forward. Find out more about the potential risks of disenfranchised grief in the long term and why it is important to seek help for long-lasting grief.

Lack of Social Support

Grief is not something people like to discuss out in the open. Death, loss, and negative experiences often get pushed aside after the initial shock wears off. People go about their normal business and ‘forget’ the person grieving. They expect that since they are getting up and doing dishes, making meals, and driving kids to school they are okay. Grief can be disenfranchised for many reasons but most of the time it is because people are not given space and opportunity to work through healing the loss with strong support. 

Relationship Matters

The type of relationship the person had with the loved one who died factors greatly into disenfranchised grief. Ambivalent feelings may make the process more difficult and lead to complicated mourning. It is possible to feel glad and sad about a loss. A woman may feel relieved and happy to proceed with an abortion, yet feel sadness from the loss. Women who go through the experience of abortion are at risk of this. If the relationship was narcissistic or the person was not supportive, they may end up not being able to grieve the loss properly and be left with unresolved feelings that are difficult to navigate. 

Risks of Disenfranchised Grief

Grief is when loss hurts and is a normal part of the process of losing a loved one or going through deep loss. When someone experiences grief, they are in need of social support and structures that give them space to grieve. The lack of social support or care can lead to trauma and a means by which the person desires to navigate their feelings by numbing them. Numbing feelings with substances will create further grief and challenges rather than mitigate the issue. The risks of not dealing with grief are high for mental health, as well, which can be a risk factor for substance use disorder. With the right support, a person can find healthy healing spaces where they feel heard and supported. If not, then they should seek help from treatment centers which help them focus on getting the right care for their substance use and begin to heal their initial grief and trauma.

The Guest House Ocala provides an open door for people who experience grief and trauma who need support. We are here to help you navigate healing from addiction and working through the layers of a trauma you may have experienced. You are not alone. Call us to find out how to get started: 1-855-483-7800