The human toll.

In a recent survey conducted by BGSG in which over 100 grandparents took part, there were no surprises really, what we found so concerning was the responses about health.

Of course speaking to so many grandparents on a daily basis, I am only too aware of the terrible consequences that occur as a direct result of being estranged/alienated from grandchildren, but to actually see it as a graph and statistics is very sobering indeed.

Here are the results:

Q1. Family breakdown comes in all different scenarios. Is your estrangement/alienation as a result of separation or divorce?

Yes. 44%

Q2. Is it as a result of alcohol or drug dependancy of your grandchild’s parent?

Yes. 15%
No. 84%

Q3. Is it as a result of Domestic Abuse within the home?

Yes. 16%
No. 85%

Q4. Is it as a result of a bereavement of an adult child?

Yes. 4%
No. 95%

Q5. Is it as a result of a family fall out?

Yes. 71%
No. 29%

Q6. Have you been to court to try and gain a Child Arrangement Order?

Yes. 36%
No. 65%

Q7. If you have was it successful?

Yes. 22%
No. 77%

Q8. Approximately what was the cost?

The figures  start at £400 and up to £136,000!

Q9. Have you suffered with your health as a result of your estrangement/alienation?

Yes. 99%
No. 1%

The implications on health both mental and physical are frightening. Here is a list of what people cited.

  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of emptiness, isolation and loneliness.
  • Utter sadness
  • Stress
  • Panic attacks
  • Stress related immune condition
  • I am a changed person
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorder
  • Weight loss as I can’t eat.
  • Nightmares
  • High blood pressure
  • Self-harm
  • Thyroid issues
  • Point of breakdown
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Attempted to end my life
  • Mental health issues.

Q10: Do you think support groups are helpful?

Yes: 88%
No: 12%

As I said, sobering reading isn’t it, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I would say to anyone who is feeling as described above, please seek help, if having suicidal thoughts contact The Samaritans (UK) immediately.

Find a support group in your area, you do not have to be alone with this.

About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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