April 1962: Chronic sorrow

The term is introduced and the condition explained by Simon Olshansky in the article "Chronic Sorrow: A Response to Having a Mentally Defective Child," which appeared in the April 1962 edition of Social Casework.

Olshansky, a counselor to parents of handicapped children, described the normal pervasive psychological response in the suffering of parents dealing with mentally disabled children. He observed that parents of children with mental retardation may suffer from chronic sorrow throughout their lives as a reaction to both the loss of the expectations they had for the perfect child and the day-to-day reminders of dependency. He also encouraged professionals to recognize chronic sorrow as a natural response to a tragic situation in order to assist parents in achieving greater comfort living with and managing a child with a mental disability.

From "Handbook of Nursing Diagnosis" (2009 book by Lynda Juall Carpenito-Moyet):

Chronic sorrow is different from grieving. Grieving is time-limited and ends in adaptation to the loss. Chronic sorrow will vary in intensity, but persists as long as the person with the disability or chronic sorrow condition lives. Chronic sorrow can also occur in an individual with a chronic disease that regularly impairs the person's ability to live a "normal life" (e.g. paraplegic, AIDS, sickle cell disease).

* Entry from "Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience" (2009 book by Clifton D. Bryant and Dennis L. Peck): @
* Entry from "Middle Range Theories: Application to Nursing Research" (2008 book by Sandra J. Peterson and Timothy S. Bredow): @
* Excerpts from "Chronic Sorrow: A Living Loss" (2002 book by Susan Roos): @

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