The loss of a parent is one of the most painful experiences a human being can go through.
Regardless of how close you were to your mom or dad, or how old you were when they left this earth, or whether their passing was anticipated or not, losing a parent can have a painful psychological and emotional impact on you.
According to studies, the loss of a parent can badly affect our mental, emotional, and physical health.
And while we all have our different ways of coping with parental loss, the truth is, sorrow, denial, shock, despair, anguish, and depression, are feelings we all share when a parent dies.
To take a deeper look into the effects of childhood bereavement on adult life, research analyses based on longitudinal data given by 11,000 people born in 1970 were conducted. The three groups studied were orphans, children from dysfunctional or divorced families, and those that lived in strong families.
It was discovered that by 30 years of age, the orphan group had higher unemployment rates than the others.
Later, another research was carried out to look into the lasting effects of the premature death of a parent on adult life and it showed that in cases where the child did not have proper social support while grieving, there was a negative effect on adulthood in regards to relationships, self-confidence, trust, feelings of loneliness and isolation, as well as the ability to communicate feelings.
Then, another study investigated the effects of parental loss on physical and mental well-being in adulthood and provided precious information that shows gender may also play a role in the way people deal with grief.
Research of longitudinal information gathered from 8865 people in the National Survey of Families and Households 1987–1993 suggest that the loss of a father can trigger more negative outcomes for sons than for daughters and vice versa when it comes to the loss of a mother.
Ways In Which The Loss Of A Parent Affects Our Brain
In a research made available in The American Journal of Psychiatry in 2003, experts found a link between unresolved grief and both mental and physical health problems, such as immune disorders, hypertension, cancer, and heart problems.
The Process Of Healing
Unquestionably, going through the consequences of such a devastating event is not something that can be avoided. So, if you have lost a mother or father, remember to take as much time as you need to grieve. You must also treat yourself with patience and compassion. And not matter at which stage of mourning you are, never try to hold your feelings in. Let them flow freely and acknowledge that they are an inevitable part of the process of healing.
Here are 5 steps that may help you heal quicker:
1. Seek out people who are going through the same issues as you. Group therapy is a powerful way to share your experiences, receive emotional support, and build new meaningful relationships.
2. Your loved ones will always be the people you can always count on in times of darkness, but if they cannot help you, try talking to a trained therapist
3. If you’re going through clinical depression and grief, be aware that taking some antidepressants can help you with the process of healing, but they must be prescribed by a medical expert.
4. Lead a healthy lifestyle. Get enough sleep, have a balanced food diet, and exercise on a regular basis. This will stop you from developing toxic, self-sabotaging behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse, as well as overeating.
5. If you are a person of God, seek comfort in your faith. Religious traditions can be incredibly soothing when it comes to dealing with such deep pain.
We hope this article was of help to you. Let us know your thoughts on the topic by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve found this piece of value.