Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive, Combined with Estrangement
Side view of a muslim man comforting a sad caucasian girl mourning in a train station

Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive, Combined with Estrangement

Grieving someone still alive combined with estrangement is called ambiguous grief or ambiguous loss. A quick refresher? Estrangement is the loss of closeness and affection you previously had for a person. Ambiguous grief or ambiguous loss occurs when people we love lose meaning in our lives. Yes, they can be with us physically, but psychologically they are off.

What Can Lead Us into Ambiguous Grief?

When our loved one is psychologically turned off by dementia, addiction, mental illnesses, and traumatic pain injuries. These health conditions and circumstances make our loved ones do things they should otherwise not have done, sending us into grief.

Is Addiction a Mental Illness?

From the addiction expert’s point of view, we can only consider addiction as a mental illness. Addiction has physical components; hence calling it a mental illness can be a big injustice to the umbrella term.

How Does the Society See Addiction?

Society sees addiction as a disease that only affects a few. This explains why people suffering from addiction are less likely to support insurance, housing, and employment policies that make their drugs-infused life much easier.

Julia Davis

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

Latest from Ask the Expert