Becoming a Widow when Overseas – blog.blackwomenineurope.com
Losing your spouse is devastating. It does not matter who you are, how old you are, or where you live. You’ve lost the other half of you and it can be a tremendous blow to your heart as well as your psyche. But becoming a widow when you live overseas is even more difficult because you do not have the familial support system that you would have if you were back home. Even if you have lived overseas for years, your family base and old friends are still thousands of miles away.
You can talk to your loved ones on the phone, text, or even teleconference them so you can see their face. However, it is not the same as being there in person. Of course, technology helps. Nowadays, it can seem like you are in the same room with your friends and family when you Facetime or Skype them, and that is a big help. Talking to others about your feelings is always important when you lose a loved one. It is important to know that you are not alone in this and that you have people you can count on.
Widowhood and Depression
There have been many studies focusing on the mental health of those who lose their partners, but it seems to hit harder for women. Whether this is because they are the caregivers and feel the most loss or because they are still expected to be strong for the rest of the family, it is impossible to take care of others right now when you are the one who needs the TLC. Women are more susceptible to depression to begin with, so losing your spouse can be the deciding factor on whether you need to talk to a professional or not.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues of widowhood is financial worry. Especially if your spouse brought in the majority of the income for your household. In many European countries, survivorship pensions are much lower than that of other countries. For example, Spanish pension law gives widows just 45% of the calculation base of old-age pensions. This compounds the other factors such as not being able to work for those who are in retirement age or older and being overseas away from other family members who may be able to help. And compound that with the other pressures of a widow like childcare for younger widows (if needed), spousal benefits such as health insurance, and mental health care woes.
Online Mental Health Care
Fortunately, mental health care is now much less expensive than it used to be. In fact, with BetterHelp.com, online therapy is significantly lower than traditional face to face therapy. You can talk to a therapist for just $40 to $70 per week rather than $250 to $400 per hour. In fact, with online therapy, you do not need an appointment, do not have to leave your home, and you can communicate with your therapist 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As often as you want.
This is a guest post.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.