Seeking Psychiatric Help for Disenfranchised Grief

Grieving becomes more consoling with the presence of a support system; it becomes more bearable knowing that the people around you are aware of the emotional battle that you have to deal with. It somehow assures you that the people around you will understand your sadness.

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Ryan Parks, M.Ed, LPCC used to say that “Our society tells us that if you talk about your issues, express your feelings, or even verbalize you have a mental health disorder, you must be “weak.”.” However, this is not the case for people who are undergoing disenfranchised grief wherein the society does not acknowledge the pain that someone has to go through or been going through. 

The social acceptance of sadness is only entitled to the immediate family members, but to those who are not welcomed to the life of the person, they will just be contended on the unacknowledged grief like a wall has been erected to cover up the misery.

Death of an ex-lover, someone you look up to or even the death of your pet can be very painful for some; however, society sees these situations as illegitimate or unnatural because there is no personal attachment or the degree of relationship is far different from a legitimate and immediate familial relationship. 

Disenfranchised grief is like an unbranded sorrow that no matter how you show your emotions, nobody will honor it and see any reason for you to mourn at all. The emotional dilemma that you have to go through with this kind of grief can affect your life as well. This unrecognized mourning may even result in more severe emotional and psychological issues, because the person going through this has no stable support system making the person feel abandoned and misunderstood by the rest of the group. The sadness may even lead to depression and may disrupt the disposition of the person. Undertsand that “Grief is a part of life we must embrace. Many people are grieving, feeling alone and overwhelmed. It’s important to remember that tears are like small messengers of unspeakable, indescribable love.” Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC said.

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When a person conceals the sorrow, it can be like a dormant volcano waiting to erupt and spew detrimental and noxious emotional disturbances.

You Do Not Have To Grieve Alone

“When people are given a supportive environment and a safe relationship, they can let down their guard and heal.”  Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD explained. Despite the unrecognized grief that you might have or will be having, you have to remind yourself that you do not have to carry the burden all by yourself. Seeking psychiatric assistance can help you deal with the situation. Sometimes all we need to have is someone who will listen to us. Confiding your emotions to a psychiatrist will help you release the pain you have been carrying inside your heart. Psychiatric counseling can be your support system for you to be able to go through the complete process of grieving. This can be a better avenue for you when you start talking about the person or your pet without the feeling of being judged along the way. Psychiatrists can assist and provide you the right coping skills to overcome depression and give yourself the right to mourn.

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You can find a psychiatrist in your location by searching on the internet. Sometimes they also accept telephonic and brief talk, but it is best if you set an appointment and meet with the psychiatrist personally.

Other forms of obtaining psychiatric help are through online counseling. If you have a stable internet connection, a tablet or smartphone, then you are good to go. Some of these online services are free while high-end psychiatric consultations may require some form of payment.

Whatever method you choose, talking with a mental health professional is your best option to help you express your grief and move on.

Dating after the Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one might be one of the hardest things someone must go through. Often, death comes like a thief in the night. When this happens, your world turns upside down. Whether the person is a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or life partner regardless of the time together, it will affect the person left behind dramatically.  The plans and wishful thinking of spending milestones in life with each other and grow old along with probable future grandkids are gone out the window. It can be very traumatic for the partner that was left behind.

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Finding a new love and opening yourself to dating is difficult. It’s like going back to square one again. You are making yourself vulnerable to different emotions and the possibility of loss. Also, another factor to consider is the feeling of guilt and unworthiness. The widow might feel that she/he is betraying the memories of their beloved spouse as well as being unfair to the new person since he/she will be getting the broken version of you. All these feelings are normal and typical but take note that this phase will soon pass. With active support system and counseling, anybody can emotionally survive losing a loved one.

What You Should Know

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Always remember that dating is not necessary after the passing away of your spouse. Work within your timeline. There is no appropriate timeline for grieving a loved one. In the beginning, one will usually be overwhelmed with grief, loss, and sadness; thus, dating is the last thing on their mind. It varies from person to person, but when the time is right, you will know. This could happen in a few months or maybe, years after. Grief is intense and idiosyncratic, and the response of everyone varies. For older adults who spent decades with their partners, experiencing being alone for the first time might lead to depression.

Now comes the dating part, the dilemma is how open will you be with your date. Will you spill the details about being a widow/widower on the first date? Do you share with him/her information about your late spouse?

The best guideline to follow is telling the truth. Honesty doesn’t mean pouring your heart out on the first date or pointing out details of your previous relationship in your dating profile. When relationship history comes up in conversation, you should be ready to tell him/her the truth. The death of a loved one is part of who you are. Your prospect partner should know this and be able to accept that grieving your loss will not stop upon starting a relationship. Dating will not end a person from loving, missing and imagining life about their dead spouse. Due to this, it might be unavoidable to compare your relationship with your deceased partner and new love; however, stop yourself from going that route which will only create more problems for you and your new partner. It is incredibly unfair for the other person to compete or fit the missing hole in your life – because it will not happen.

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Lastly and most of all, remember that you have the right to be happy. It is okay to love and be happy again. You are not ruining or tarnishing the memory of your late husband/wife by doing so. Humans are social creatures who need acceptance and love by others.

Coping At Work When Grieving A Loved One’s Death

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Losing someone you love is an unavoidable and unpredictable part of life. We’ll never know when we’d have to say our final goodbyes. Although you may want to stay in bed and away from everyone during those hard times, life, unfortunately, goes on for everyone. You’ll soon have to get back on your feet and return to your job. During these vulnerable times, it is crucial to cope with your grief healthily.

Let Your Boss And Your Colleagues Know

Relaying the news to other people after a loss is undoubtedly painful. Loss and death can make people feel uncomfortable. It leaves us at a loss of what to do and what to say. However, letting people at work know that you are grieving can prevent you from repeating yourself over and over again.

Informing your workplace can be done by emailing or calling. You can also ask a close co-worker, your supervisor, or the HR department to let people know on your behalf. As each of us mourns in different ways, communicating with your co-workers will let them know how you want to be comforted. Besides, “No one is born knowing how to cope with the wave of grief that follows the death of someone we love. As a psychotherapist who’s worked with many grievers, I know when faced with overwhelming grief, many people feel like they are alone in what they’re experiencing and can feel like they’re going crazy.” Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC said.

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Forgive Yourself

“There’s no one answer about what to do when you miss someone—it really depends on the situation.”  Gregory Kushnick, PsyD. said. That is why grief affects us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. It is hard to expect yourself to quickly go back to your old self and work at your best condition. Forgive yourself if you make mistakes in your job or if the weight of your grief affects your work performance despite doing your best.

These are some challenges that you may face:

  • Apathy or lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating on a task
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feeling exhausted at work
  • Failing to accomplish simple tasks you used to do before easily

During this time, avoid making major life decisions, such as resigning from your job or moving to a new place. Let yourself finish grieving and have your mind be rested and refreshed before making any significant changes in your life.

Allow Yourself To Take Time Off

Society expects us to keep moving forward all the time. We live in a heartless society where we are expected to be productive even at the expense of our health. However, it is impossible to escape from the feeling of grief. The smallest of the things can trigger your memories with the loved one you lost.

“The experience of losing someone we love is a process most everyone endures in a lifetime.” Annie Vaughn, MA, LMHC said. During this time, remind yourself that it’s okay to feel the way you feel. It is healthy to cry as much as you need. While you can’t control it all, you can take measures to still function at work while grieving.

If you’re on the verge of tears suddenly, know the private spaces where you could be alone for a while to release your emotions and compose yourself. You can communicate with your workplace and ask for their understanding. You can also ask for a different work setup, such as working from home or getting permission to leave the office earlier.

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Find Time For Grief Support

It is vital to connect and reach out to people whom you can rely on and have someone with whom you can share your feelings and experiences. It can be a struggle at first, but having a great support system can help you cope with a little ease with the death of a loved one.

Balancing mourning and working can provide you with the comfort that you need. Reaching out to others and forgiving yourself can alleviate your pain in this trying time.

What I Learned From #TOTGA

All of us have met someone along the way who has left a significant impact on our lives. Someone who we thought we could be with us for a lifetime. This someone could be that “ex’ you have spent almost ten years with or maybe just for a few months. On the other hand, it could also be that someone you did not even have any labels with but had intimate feelings for each other. However, you just woke up one day finding out that they are no longer in your life.

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Destiny has its undertaking, it has led us taking separate paths, and all we know was that someone who could be the one, your ultimate partner in life is now just a piece of memory in your mind. In social media euphemism, they are the one that got away or written in this manner – #TOTGA.

Often, the “what ifs” in our lives pertain to the one that got away. We sometimes find ourselves in the silence of the night thinking about the chances that we could have had with this person. I was not spared from this missed chance, hearing people say, “How come you did not end up together, I thought you were an item” or “You are perfect for each other.”

Remembering these statements made me ask myself if I let chance slipped away. For quite some time, I have pondered on this, why do we always look for the one and then we just let them move away. Does having someone that got away means the person we have now is not the one for us. Having thought of this, made me feel guilty that I might hurt the person I am with, I might be cheating on him in thoughts. During finding the existence of the one that got away, I have come to realize a lesson that #TOTGA has in my life. It made me realize essential takeaways that I can live by.

Falling In Love Is Always Taking Risks

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    #TOTGA made me accept that in love, you must take the risk or else you will never know if it is worth fighting for. If only I took the risk back then I could have made the chance to see if the person was the one or just another lesson in life. Then again, since I did not, he remains that person that just passed through my life.

Meant For Each Other

    #TOTGA has taught me that the people who are destined to be part of your life will gravitate back to you. Fate has this mysterious thing where all things fall in the right place, or it may have other plans for each of us.

Life Lessons

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    #TOTGA helped me to accept things as they are and do not regret the mishaps that life may bring, somewhat thankful for the lessons it has brought along the way. Finally, the experience has taught me to value and cherish the person I will end up with because he might be the right partner for me to be with all this time.

We always question our life experiences, be it happy or sad involvements. At my age and present situation, I have realized that it is best to accept and face the music rather than contemplate hard on why things should turn out not the way we wanted it to be.

How E-Journal Can Help You Deal With Your Grief

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It is one thing to deal with your grief inside your head; it is another to vent it out. However, people do not always have someone to listen to them. Your friends and family are not available to listen to you all the time. During those times, you will be required to deal with your emotions healthily.

One way of venting out without sharing with other people is through writing journals. Thankfully with the advancements in technology, people can download journal applications. There are different choices for these applications, and most of them are free.

Electronic journals provide convenience since you can quickly type whenever you want and wherever you are. You only need to have a smartphone or a tablet with you. These journals also offer security through passcodes.

Aside from the convenience and security electronic journals provide, here are other benefits you can get from journaling.

Keep Track Of Your Emotions

Karen Doll, Psy.D., L.P. notes about mental health; “Suffering has complicated factors that interface including: physical, psychological, social, emotional and neurological.” However, writing can help you keep track of your unfiltered emotions. When venting to another person, you might filter heavily charged emotions. However, when you use journals, you are confronted with your true self. You can write without the feeling of being judged by others.

Also, with regular journaling, you will be aware of your mood shifts and what causes them. You can go back to your previous entries, and you might see the pattern of your emotions. You will now be aware of the triggers that cause negative feelings. Similarly, you will be mindful of events that give you feelings of joy.

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Improve Your Mood

Since you are now aware of your emotions, you can know how to improve your mood in certain situations gradually. You are aware of activities that lighten your mood. In this way, you can choose to participate in happiness-inducing activities for you.

Thus, you can lower your body’s stress level when you regularly write about your emotions. Writing about a bad experience can help you cope healthily. As you write entries, you will realize you are beginning to calm down. This lowered stress level is due to the proper expression of negative emotions. Dr. David Ballard, PsyD often says that “When stress becomes chronic, this narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.” So one should watch out.

You can also choose to challenge mental triggers to address your mental health better. It is important to challenge these triggers for you to take control of your mental state. Denying the existence of these triggers will only bottle up your negative emotions. It is always best to express feelings since they are to be felt and conveyed.

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Analyze Your Reactions

You can easily navigate electronic journals through certain features such as the search bar and categories. Using these tools, you can analyze your past feelings and reactions. These options offer a great way to assess yourself.

Self-awareness is a step towards self-improvement. You can be aware of any toxic behavior you might have. It is essential to know this kind of action since there are times wherein they cause an unhealthy coping mechanism. This way, you avoid being toxic not only to yourself but also to others

Grief is part of being human. “Everyone reacts differently to grief, and how one reacts has a great deal to do with what happened and whether they’ve dealt with it appropriately.” Janeen Herskovitz, MA, LMHC says. No one should be ashamed to feel negative emotions as long as a person tries to deal with them accordingly. Through journals, a person can control his or her emotions, thereby improving his or her mood.

Blogs That Help You Deal With Relationship Problems

Frequently, girls tend to seek advice for their romantic problems and dilemma. The familiar advisers are her girlfriends and close friends, but some find the expertise from counselors and professionals. With the expansion of the digital technology and the accessibility of the internet, there are numerous blogs and online articles that discuss different ways on how to cope, top things to look for, suggestions on how to handle, and many other aspects that can affect a relationship. The following blogs and websites are credible in this aspect.

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Sheversushe.Blogspot.Com

This blog talks about anything and everything that has to with relationships. It contains advice how to understand your partner, how to handle breakups, tips on dating and many more. You will able to find something useful in this blog.

Simplerelationshipdatingtips.Blogspot.Com

If you need basics on dating, then you better check out this blog. This will suit best for people who are not in a relationship yet looking forward to acing the dating game. It will teach you about the pros and cons of dating as well as give out good relationship advice.

Luvemorleavem.Com

There are videos on this blog that you can watch to help your relationship. This blog is for those who have relationship problems but still want to stay together. It showcases unpopular opinions which will broaden your understanding of relationships. The blog has an interactive feature that allows sharing of advice from the content creators and audience.

Lesbiansanddating.Blogspot.Com

Dating, as it, is quite daunting. This site generally targets lesbian dating and relationships. It gives out tips and trick of the trades specifically on this group.

Romanticanticsformen.Blogspot.Com

If you are in a long relationship, romance and fun are hard to maintain. This blog is about how to keep your ties burning or how to get back to the excitement just like in your first moments together.

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Susieandotto.Com

This blog is run by real-life couples Susie and Otto Collins who are relationship experts. Mostly, it talks about ways how to keep the spark in a relationship, how to reconcile after a fight and some tips and tricks on dating.

Baggagereclaim.Co.Uk

If you have trust issues, commitment issues or just wondering how to solve these issues, then this blog is for you. Everything that is written in this blog comes from the heart so most likely you can relate to the content of the blog.

Relationshiprepair.Net

In general, rearing children is a full-time job. For some, they juggle careers and family life while it is doable. It is common to lose track and neglect certain aspects of your life. The relationships between couples take the back seat over the needs of the family. Through this website, the readers gain insights about being the best possible parents while maintaining the excellent foundation of the family which is the relationship of the parents.

Lovein90days.Com

An essential factor to consider upon entering a relationship is that you are genuinely happy with the person you are sharing it with. This site focuses on different ways to improve your communication with your partner. Also, it is recommended for women who have difficulty resolving their problems in the relationship.

Improvingrelationships.Com

Breakups are not easy especially if it is your first time. All the advice about focusing on yourself and how you are fabulous seems futile. This blog will give you innovative and nonconventional ways to get over your ex and deal with a devastating broken heart.

Letting Go: Finding An Outlet For Grief

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Losing a loved one can cause several overwhelming emotions: unexplainable anger, deep loneliness, and great disbelief. The devastation that comes after the loss can be so unbearable that you start to question the point of life anyway.

Having these feelings is normal and valid when you’re going through the different stages of grief. While recovering from the pain may take some time, there are ways to begin your healing slowly. Finding healthy coping mechanisms and emotional outlets can gradually help you get back on your feet.

Manifestations Of Grief

Grief is not only felt on an emotional aspect, but it can also affect your physical well-being and reflect on your health. It is essential to recognize the manifestations of grief as a way to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. As Edna M. Esnil, PsyD says, “Prioritizing daily self-care and making efforts to take action. Accepting that daily self-care is hard work and challenging.”  Here are some of the symptoms:

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  • Body aches and fatigue. Your body feels stressed when you are going through a challenging time. As a result, your sleep is interrupted, which makes you constantly tired and prone to having muscle aches.
  • Difficulty in breathing. This symptom can be a result of either of these two things: heart problems or anxiety. If you are prone to cardiac disease, be sure to check with your doctor. Otherwise, you can try meditation and breathing techniques to cope with anxiety.
  • Change in appetite. Due to high stressors, your appetite can drastically increase or decrease. You are more likely to experience digestive issues as a result.
  • Lack of focus. You may feel distracted and zoned out from reality as you deal with heavy emotions of loss. It is possible to be forgetful and unorganized during this time too.
  • Prone to sickness. Apart from the body pains and headaches, your immune system also weakens as a result of stress. If you are not eating correctly or getting proper exercise, that can affect your health, too

Finding An Outlet For Grief

“Acknowledge and accept the feelings: The first step is to learn to bring the feeling out,” explains Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD. Despite the confusion and heartbreak, you may feel, remember that life goes on. Dealing with grief may not have a specific duration, but it is essential to find healthy ways to get through every day.

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One way to cope is to express your thoughts and emotions. You can do this through writing in a journal or engaging in art or music therapy. There’s no need to be a master in the craft; you only have to let go of what you’re feeling inside.

Staying busy can also give you a sense of purpose and motivate you to get out of bed. Try to take on a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. This way, your mind is preoccupied with productive things instead of wallowing in sad thoughts. An excellent activity is learning recipes in the kitchen that you haven’t done before. You can develop new skills while making sure that you get enough nutrition.

According to Tali Yuz Berliner, Psy.D. “Individuals may avoid discussing the loss as well as avoid people or places that are associated with their grief. This experience can put an individual in a vulnerable position with regard to their mental health.” Being locked up in your room all day can also increase your feelings of depressions. For now, avoid places or reminders that can trigger negative emotions. Change your scene by going outside for a quick jog or a relaxing walk. Including exercise in your activity can increase your positive mood.

Lastly, do your best to reach out to trusted people who you can talk to about your feelings. Having a supportive company will remind you that you are not alone as you grieve.

Like any other feeling, grief needs release. Choose an outlet that best suits your needs. It will only get better from now on.

How to Move On from the Death of a Spouse

One of the most painful events that humans can experience is the death of their partner in life. They are the persons whom they shared their dreams with and loved more than their own life. A partner in life is not just a spouse, but a person that filled many roles in the presence of another individual – to him/her such as traveling companion, life adviser, co-parent, confidante and best friend.

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The passing of someone so special to one’s life is painful physically, emotionally, and practically. It seems that a person’s life is dependent on the partner that the other can no longer function adequately. The emotional burden is a typical reaction, and it is even more painful if the relationship has gained a stronger connection and years of togetherness. It is understandable for someone to feel that nobody can replace the loved one or take away the pain. But one can seek support from other people as the feelings of grief persists and starts to learn how to change one’s life in so many areas. The presence of a non-judgmental and caring person may help the one who grieves in facing the following four essential things on this journey.

Accept The Reality Of The Loss


Accepting the death of a special someone may be very difficult to do. At first, a person will experience denial responses that may take place for a couple of weeks. Accepting the reality of loss involves overcoming the natural denial response. Activities such as viewing the body of the partner, attending the funeral and burial services, and visiting the tomb can be a great aid in helping the person embrace the truth. Sharing one’s feelings with other significant people may also aid in admitting the real situation. When a person accepts this reality, a sense of freedom is also established to take the consolation of knowing that there is life after death and there is no reason for prolonged grieving.

“Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness.” –Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP


Experience The Pain Of Grief

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Pain is a natural feeling during death and loss of a significant person. But many people are trying to cover up their suffering by bottling up their emotions or hiding their feelings. The only way to overcome grief is to go through all the pain until it all dries out. A person who is not allowing himself to grieve can fall into depression or other health problems. Crying, shouting and other forms of expressing grief provides genuine relief.


Adjust To An Environment In Which You Are On Your Own

If a person has an established relationship with the lost partner, most likely they had already assigned specific roles and responsibilities to each other. Assuming the part of the deceased loved one can be very challenging at first, but eventually, the other partner will adapt to the new environment. If the person feels that the house is empty, getting a pet can ease loneliness, or joining organizations or hobby groups can keep one’s time busy. Regular phone calls from friends and other family members can also be a practical help. Staying with children and spending time with grandchildren can also ease the burden of depression.

“When people are given a supportive environment and a safe relationship, they can let down their guard and heal.” –Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD

Invest The Emotional Energy You Have In Healthy And Life-Giving Relationships

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It is not advisable to rush in finding a new romantic relationship but having connections to other people with similar interests is essential. For the younger individuals, this aspect is still very much open, and the possibility of engaging in another relationship is not far from happening. For the senior group, finding a new partner is no longer their priority; however, there are also some that seek new relationships for the sake of companionship.

“Losing someone or something you love and care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up.” –Kevin Stevenson, LMHC, MCAP


There are no comforting words that can ease one’s pain when grieving the death of a life-long partner. Nonetheless, one can go through the process and as the adage says, “Time heals all wounds.”