grief rash on mother's day

The grief rash

The birthday rash. The holiday heavy. The death anniversary hot flashes. The mother’s day stomach ache.

Grief has physical symptoms that are so profound.

I was listening to the Dermatology Show on ‘Dr. Radio’ recently and the doctor on the show was explaining that she and one of her patients could not figure out why at one particular time of year, her psoriasis would flare up really badly.

The doctor asked her patient if there was anything stressful going on in her life or was there anything about that particular month. Then the patient said that in the month of March, ten years ago, her son had been murdered and the grief during that month was insurmountable. The doctor looked over records as she had treated the patient for nearly 5 years and they finally found the pattern–during that month, she had had awful flare ups.

Once I heard that, I started to think.

For the last two spring seasons in April since Charles died, I’ve gotten an angry rash right below my eyelids. I have had a little rash in spring seasons before but nothing like this. I know they are caused by allergies.

This whole month, I woke up with swollen, red, crusty eye rashes. Worse than ever.

Charles’ birthday is April 26.

The day after his birthday, that rash is practically gone. One more day later, it’s cleared up– just like that.

After I lost my son to suicide, the emotional pain came as no surprise. But the physical symptoms and physical pain that came with it were not expected.

As far as these “hives” which is technically what they really are, I took Benadryl and that helped a lot. I also make sure to do more meditation and tap into my support resources.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “The grief rash”

  1. I too am covered in the most burning and itching stress rash following the sudden shock & loss of my young husband.

    1. I am so sorry. An over the counter medication called Benedryl helped alleviate the hives. But it took me some time to figure out my rash was tied to grief. How long ago did you lose your husband? Tell me what was special about him.

  2. My friend committed suicide this Monday and I can testify that this is very real, my whole chest and even my arms are covered in terrible hives and it just makes so much sense that it is grief related.

    1. I know right? But to your brain, the physical and the mental are one in the same. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Let me know how you are doing? It’s a difficult loss and I want to make sure you are OK.

  3. This is amazing. The power of grief is incredible. We often forget that it manifests physically. Thank you for sharing and continuing to educate us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Join the tribe that saves lives

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.