Losing A Close Friend Can Take A Toll Harder Than We Think, New Study Suggests


Death is inevitable and so is the pain that a close friend feels on losing someone. Grief is very subjective, dependent on the person in question. Every one expresses their loss and grieves in a way that they deem comfortable for their mental well being. It goes without saying that losing a friend has been found to have deeper impacts that what people thought initially.

A new study (R) conducted by the researchers from the Australian National University found that the trauma caused by the death of a close friend is held on four times longer than what the prior studies and beliefs suggest.

According to the researchers, they suggest that it is the lack of recognition about the time frame it takes to mourn the loss of a close friend is what is leading to the lack of inadequate support being made available during the process.

The conducted study clarified the changes that one experiences in terms of physical, psychological as well as social well being when it comes to the death of a close friend for at least four years. That is definitely not something that prior studies or experiences have clarified for a fact.

Prior studies did find and conclude that the same lasted for around 12 months but this new finding is definitely a breakthrough all the more.

This study did analyse some of the longitudinal data as well as some of the indicators of the health the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey which included around 26,515 participants out of which 9,586 people have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Dr Wai-Man (Raymond) Liu, who is the lead author of the study, stated saying that people who did suffer losing a close friend did suffer quite a significant decline in their physical and mental health along with their emotional stability.

Dr Lui further clarified stating that these findings further raise concerns with the way we tend to manage and handle the process of recovery from losing a close friend. With their studies, the researchers did find that there were serious declines in the well being and the overall physical and emotional well being of an individual who have ended up experiencing the death of a close friend in the near years all the more.

It is not uncommon for people to know about the significant decline in one’s well being when they lose a partner, child or a parent. They are likely to suffer through a significant amount of time. Yet, losing a close friend, which a lot of us experience throughout our life, is not that well afforded with the same level of seriousness the community, in general.

The death of a close friend is often regarded as the disenfranchised grief which is either not taken that seriously or afforded with significance throughout the process altogether. What this means in short that we leave the people who are suffering from such a trauma to fend for themselves, deeming the loss not that important.

Upon the estimate of the grieving time frame found by Dr Liu, he is calling on medical practitioners as well as policy makers to rethink the way they do approach handling people’s grief when it involves the loss of a close friend. According to him, he wants people to realize the fact that losing a close friend is just as taxing on one’s mental and physical well being as losing a partner or parent. It is important to offer these people with all the necessary psychological and health services to ensure that they have a better recovery over a certain period of time all the more.