Authors: Kanthi Perera, WA.
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: A MEANINGFUL LIFE, CARERS, FAMILIES, Positive regard for Mental Illness
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Ambiguity, coupled with loss, creates a powerful barrier to coping and grieving which can lead to symptoms such as depression and relational conflict that erode human relationships. Current theories, rituals and community support mainly address the grief of clear-cut loss such as death. There is very little evidence in literature or policy in the area of mental health to demonstrate that professionals have paid much attention to the reactions of grief in those affected by mental illness and members of the families who care for them. Research on stress and trauma has found that none is as unmanageable as the stress of a loss which is unclear, uncertain, inconsistent and possibly cyclical, known as ambiguous loss. The aim of this paper is to raise awareness of the concept of ambiguous loss for people affected by mental illness, the families who care for them and service providers.