The Cut: The Psychological Effects of Being Separated From Your Child
Family Science Associate Professor Dr. Mia Smith-Bynum is quoted in an article detailing the adverse psychological effects faced by parents of children forcibly separated from their families. The story, published in The Cut, addresses the recent removal of over 700 migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border.
“Forceful separation is particularly damaging when parents feel there’s nothing in their power that can be done to get their child back,” explains Dr. Smith-Bynum. The expected symptoms of grief after such a separation are “Compounded by symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including nightmares, emotional numbness, and an inability to stop reliving the separation over and over.”
In the article Dr. Smith-Bynum discusses “Ambiguous loss” which occurs when “A parent never gets the closure they need to fully resolve their grief.” “People become frozen in their grief,” she adds.