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  • Julie Kuhn

Difficult Grief and Depression

More and more I am hearing the words 'disenfranchised grief' and so I thought that perhaps I would share a little bit about this with you. To disenfranchise someone is to deprive them of something.

Using that meaning, disenfranchised grief is one where the loss is not validated, it can be unrecognised and not openly acknowledged by your culture and the society within which you live. This can be generally labelled as an insignificant loss thereby depriving you, the griever of a normal grieving process.

Types of Death which might be put into the disenfranchised grief category are:


Perinatal loss or stillborn baby

Death of a member of an extended family i.e. half-brother




Extra-marital lover or someone who is not related.

However, there is a more common example of disenfranchised grief which is one where the person who is grieving is deprived of their own length of time to grieve; for instance Society attempts to place restrictions on the griever as to how long grief should take with words said such as "you should be over it by now" or “its about time you moved on”.

Grief is a natural response to death and can be described as being like a game of snakes and ladders; one minute you are up and the next minute you are down. Whilst grieving, your emotions and feelings are all over the place and there is no more normal, even your grief is different to everyone else's. There may be similarities but they will be different. Each day becomes different and and support from those around you is invaluable. So, if you find that your immediate family and friends lack support for you then reach out by finding a local support group or maybe an internet forum.

To be deprived of sharing your grief with others and not being able to move through your own grief process due to disenfranchised grief can mean that the griever suppresses their grief reactions and in doing so can suffer from the effects of complicated bereavement, depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and may also have trouble coping with future losses.

Counselling can help you with your grief and your depression so if you want to make an appointment then give me a call


Don't struggle alone!D

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