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The Most Common Causes of Ambiguous Grief


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: May 26, 2017

The Most Common Causes of Ambiguous Grief

Ambiguous grief occurs when you're grieving without closure. Most often, you're grieving a person who is still there but changed. However, ambiguous grief also comes into play if you've lost someone but don't know where they are or what happened to them. You're prostrate with grief, but there's nothing you can do about it, nowhere to turn, and no way to come to terms with your feelings. Take a look at the most common causes of ambiguous grief, and perhaps you can pinpoint if your own pain and sadness fall on this spectrum.

When a Loved One Is Diagnosed with Mental Illness

Not every type of mental illness causes someone's personality, mannerisms, or thought processes to change, but many do. You might experience ambiguous grief is someone you love receives a diagnosis of manic depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and similar issues. These problems leave the person dealing with them out of her or his mind. Personalities shift and change. Members become smeary and unreliable. The person you once knew is no longer there.

As Dementia Takes Hold

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are two all-too-common reasons for ambiguous grief. Your loved one loses her or his memories. Can you imagine slow forgetting the people around you, your home, and your loved ones? The first time a loved one fails to recognize you, it's devastating. You recognize it as the beginning of the end, and it's at this point that you begin to mourn the person your loved one used to be.

If Your Loved One Has an Addiction

Drug use can change a person, as well. Even if, in the main, your loved one is the same, addiction causes personality and behavioral changes. Your loved one's priorities change. Her or his short or long term memory might be affected. Furthermore, addiction turns people into something else. Your loved one might take off for parts unknown, leaving you in another state of mourning.

When Your Loved One Is Missing

If someone you love goes missing, either because of foul play, running away, or active duty. You don't know what's happening. You don't know if your loved one is alive or dead. There's simply this hole in your life that you can't fill.

Ambiguous grief is only ambiguous because the person you're mourning isn't dead. Have you ever experienced bereavement over someone who's still alive?