Spouse Grief Counselor Decatur AL

Are men really more fragile than women? Apparently so. Women have better survival rates at all ages and for all difficulties.

Jewel E Euto
(256) 309-7558
Somerville, AL
Practice Areas
Addictions and Dependency, Childhood & Adolescence, Clinical Mental Health, Couples & Family, Depression/Grief/Chronically or Terminally Ill
National Certified School Counselor, Master Addictions Counselor, National Certified Counselor

Mental Health Association In Morgan County
(256) 353-1160
207 Commerce Cir Sw
Decatur, AL
Family Support Services Llc
(256) 340-9233
1608 4th Ave Se
Decatur, AL
Bma-Behavioral Mod & Assoc
(256) 353-7073
1024 6th Ave Se
Decatur, AL
Center For Attachment & Family Development
(256) 353-8528
1409 Kathy Ln Sw
Decatur, AL
Maureen Chemsak
(256) 772-7900
Madison, AL
Practice Areas
Addictions and Dependency, Career Development, Clinical Mental Health, Couples & Family, Supervision
National Certified Career Counselor, National Certified Counselor

Baird Counseling & Eap
(256) 306-0712
2042 Beltline Rd Sw
Decatur, AL
Riverside Counseling And Consulting Pc
(256) 340-0300
401 Grant St Se
Decatur, AL
Hammers Corkey Lpc
(256) 355-7977
2042 Beltline Rd Sw
Decatur, AL
Enrichment Center
(256) 341-0811
224 2nd Ave Se Ste 1
Decatur, AL

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

Provided by: 

By Charmian Christie

Sometimes melodramatic lyrics like, “Can’t live, if living is without you,” can come true. Researchers in the 1960s coined the phrase “the widower effect” because 17 percent of men die within a year of losing their wives. Now new evidence shows that absence, not just death, also takes a physical toll. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found seniors whose spouses were hospitalized suffered the same risk of death as those whose spouses died. Surprisingly, debilitating disorders like dementia increased the risk of death more than terminal conditions where the spouse was able to live a relatively normal life between treatments. University of Pennsylvania’s Paul Allison, PhD, coauthor of the study, speculates that since spouses contribute to our well-being, simply not having them around can harm our health. If this research is right, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It just might break it.

Social networks play such a critical role in our health that they can actually save lives. Felix Elwert, PhD, a researcher and sociologist from Harvard University, studied the differences in the widower effect between Caucasian and African-American couples aged 65 and older. In same-race marriages, Caucasians had a 15 to 20 percent increased risk of death when their spouses died, but African-American couples had none. “Zero. None,” says Elwert. Why the difference? The answer can be found by looking at mixed-race couples. Here the widower effect depends on the wife’s race. Husbands of Caucasian wives suffered the widower effect, but husbands of African-American wives didn’t. And these two groups have marked differences in extended family support. Only 20 percent of elderly Caucasian couples live with extended family while 40 percent of African-American couples do. “Wives on average are responsible for the kinship network and social life,” Elwert says. “Men married to African-American women benefited from her strong community ties.”

The weaker sex?
Are men really more fragile than women? Apparently so. Jane Potter, MD, president of the American Geriatrics Society, says, “Women have better survival rates at all ages and for all difficulties.” This is partially because senior men are often more dependent on their spouses for day-to-day care.

Men also tend to have fewer social networks than women and fewer close friendships, says Linnda Durré, PhD, a psychotherapist from Orlando, Florida. A man’s best friend is often his wife, while women typically have several close friends including their husbands. Durré says many men have also been conditioned not to talk about their feelings and may believe “therapy is for sissies.” Women, on the other hand, speak about their feelings. This leaves them more open to counseling and group sessions, where they reap the health benefits these social supports provide.

Coping with loss
But women don’t breeze through the loss of a spouse either. Both genders must cope...

Author: Charmian Christie

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