Paper on disenfranchised grief - Essay Example

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Disenfranchised grief is not normal grief since this type regards ”losses in the mourner’s life of relationships that are not socially sanctioned” ( Doka, 1989). In this case, the one experiencing this type of disenfranchised grief are the loved ones of an alcoholic…
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Download file to see previous pages In fact, many marriages were ruined due to alcohol addiction committed by a spouse. In addition to this, children of alcoholics were affected by their father’s addiction, too. The article What to Do with an Alcoholic Spouse? culled from www.marriagebuilders.com quotes:
As a consequence, loved ones resort to coping methods such as ignoring the person (alcoholic) and treating him as if he is already dead. This type of coping behavior is identified as social death. Leary (2001) made mention of social death as a type of interpersonal rejection that family members practice so they can distance themselves from the loved one in pain. When a family resorts to social death as a coping mechanism, family members experience loss, but society does not consider it that way and may even frown upon the reaction of family members.
Families that cope using psychosocial death as a defense mechanism can be considered suffering from disenfranchised grief as Doka ( 1989) argued that “in all of these cases, spouses and others may experience a profound sense of loss, but that loss cannot be publicly acknowledged for the person is still biologically alive”. Therefore, the spouse and children of alcoholics experience disenfranchised grief on a daily basis especially when the person ( alcoholic ) resides in the same house. Doka (1989) explains that”(a) grieving person experiences deep personal loss, but the very nature of the syndrome complicates emotional responses, creating ambivalence, anger, and guilt”. In short, the disenfranchised grief becomes very complicated as a consequence of psychosocial death.
Some decades ago, there were few interventions in supporting the loved ones of alcoholics who had been experiencing disenfranchised grief. Nevertheless, it is important to seek intervention strategies for this type of grief so that people can move on to their normal lives. Nowadays, there are different types of intervention that are available. One ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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