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Hurt, Bitterness and Disappointments: Its Relationship to Mental Heal.

Updated on November 16, 2017
Odewoye Francis profile image

Odewoye,Graduate Electrical Engineering,Registered member, Engineering Council U.K,Registered member(COREN) Nigeria. Professional Engineer.


The moment you focus on past events ,you are reliving the past. You are living in hour pain and in the past . Each moment you focus on what happened,the actions and the words, the feelings you experienced without letting go of the past, your bitterness grows and your disappointment .

The stronger these negative feelings become as longer you hold onto your bitterness and disappointment . Left unresolved, your bitterness and disappointment can cause you untold sadness. As you hold on to your anger bitterness and disappointment your body will start to feel these negative feelings and you could start feeling depressed, anxious or even physically ill from the tension and stress you carry in your mind and in your body.

These negative feelings will impact your mental health, your physical health, your relationships and friendships. While you may believe you can hide these feelings those around will start to sense your anger bitterness and disappointment. The bitterness and disappointment will eat away at you and your happiness as you will be discovered.

All bitterness starts out as hurt. And your emotional pain may well relate to viewing whomever (or whatever) provoked this hurt as having malicious intent: As committing a grave injustice toward you; as gratuitously wronging you and causing you grief.

To be alone
To be alone

1. Hurt:

Hurt is one of the major problems people face every day. Hurt is something or someone that causes mental or emotional pain or distress. Hurt can cause bitterness and bitterness can cause hurt as the case may be. Hurt causes bitterness and it can be traced from the beginning of mankind even in the bible as Cain felt hurt because his brother Abel’s offering was accepted and he was rejected in the book of Genesis chapter 4.

Therefore it can be said that hurt can cause bitterness and lead to disappointments in whoever is responsible for the hurt. It is normal to be hurt, feeling bitter and disappointed but the way an individual will handle the hurt is what really matters. According to Epictetus the philosopher, he said ‘what happen to us do not cause distress but it is how we handle it that causes distress’.

Hurt, bitterness and disappointments can cause us distress and if care is not taken it can affect our emotional and mental health negatively. Through our automatic though or maladaptive thinking, we can translate hurt, bitterness and disappointments into some behavioural personality disorders. It can even lead one to become mentally ill as it said; madness.

Bitterness could be called the seed of sadness and sorrow.
Bitterness could be called the seed of sadness and sorrow.

2. Bitterness:

Bitterness could be called the seed of sadness and sorrow. Bitterness could be resentful and it is a state of intense hatred which is characterized by distress and can lead to avoidance form of behaviour. Bitterness doesn’t stop….. it keeps getting worse that is one of the bad things about bitterness. It may only start as a little seed of hurt, but then it grows and fosters into a very dangerous thing.

The candle of joy and leaves the soul in darkness can be responsible for the bitterness blows out. Here is what God's Word has to say about bitterness:

The seed of bitterness is a hurt that is planted in someone. It may be intentional or unintentional. Someone does not mean to hurt you, but you were hurt. Sometimes the hurt is only imagined. At times you feel that someone has done something wrong to you but no one has hurt you. There are also times when the hurt may be the very chastisement of God upon your life. That is the context of Hebrews 12:14-15.
The heart that harbours hostility and does not deal with hurt by the grace of God is a soil of bitterness. When someone becomes bitter, the bitterness takes root in the heart and grows deeper.

The world is full of people who have not dealt with an old hurt. They look for people to find fault with and ways to justify the way they feel. Have you ever seen people who are hypercritical? Generally, they are bitter people. They know how to push your hot buttons until you react in a way to further justify their bitterness. Then, they can say, "Aha! I was right. I have a right to be bitter."

Question: Does bitterness just hurt the person who is bitter?

Answer: No. The Bible says many people can be hurt by one person’s bitterness.

He was disappointed.
He was disappointed.

3. Disappointment:

Disappointments can be caused by person or persons who fail to fulfil certain hopes, then comes hurt as a result of failure and bitterness in the form of hatred comes in.

Disappointment is a profound way in which sadness is experienced. People seem to do whatever they can to avoid recognizing that they are disappointed and will twist their thinking every which way to not recognize a true disappointment. You may be disappointed in a parent, your child, your spouse, a lover, an employer or job, an event, or in yourself. In any case, disappointment is the experience of sadness involving unfulfilled hopes or expectations. When you consider what might have been, in contrast to what exists in the present, you may experience disappointment.

Hurt, bitterness and disappointments are actions that touch our emotions and they must be handled well when they are experienced at any point in time. And because all these three but complimentary words are that which touches our emotions, we need not dwell too much on them when it happens.

We can show our grievances or anger when we are hurt but life must move on as they are necessary distractions on our way. A hurt person is bitter and disappointed at whatever actions or decisions that makes him or her sad.

4. Things that can cause hurt, bitterness and disappointments:

1. Failure at work or studies.

2. Loss of job.

3. Not being appreciated by friends or boss/ low self-esteem or poor concept.

4. Marriage breaks up.

5. Broken homes.

6. Disappointment from children behaviour.

7. Problems that are associated with marriage among young people/cheating on each other /jilting.

8. Oppression or intimidation from superiors/boss.

9. Loss of a family member through death or disaster.

10. Religious or ethnic crisis that leads to death or destruction of properties.

5. Negative effects:

1. If not discovered at the onset it could cause depression or low mood.

2. Anxiety problems that are associated with psychotic features could set in.

3. Loss of job or friends as a result of some mental characteristics or display.

4. Avoidance behaviour could set in.

5. Alcohol or drug dependence could set in.

6. Eating disorder/ loss of appetite could set in.

7. Self-harm or destruction.

8. Spiritual death.

6. Recognizing hurt, bitterness and disappointments:

It is really not that complicated to recognize hurt, especially if bitterness has set in. Let’s think of someone of the characteristics of a hurt person.

  1. They show a lack of concern for others. A bitter person cares very little about anybody else.
  2. They’re very sensitive and touchy. For instance, where two people are talking, if a bitter person walks into a room and those people get quieter as he walks in, the bitter person thinks, “They’re talking about me.”
  3. They become very possessive with just a few friends, and rarely ever have close friends. They also have an unnatural fear of losing their friends.
  4. They tend to avoid meeting new people.
  5. They show little or no gratitude at all.
  6. They will usually speak words of empty flattery or harsh criticism.
  7. They hold grudges against people, often for a long, long time. They find it extremely difficult to forgive.
  8. They often have a stubborn or sulking attitude.
  9. They are usually unwilling to share or help anybody.
  10. They end up experiencing mood extremes-very high and happy one minute, and the next things you know, they’re so low they can reach up and touch bottom.

7. How hurt, bitterness and disappointments can be handled:

1. The person experiencing any of the three needs social support when any of the signs are noticed.

2. Trust people but give a benefit of doubts that they can disappoint so that you won’t be hurt when things turn around.

3. Learn to accept people for what they are and move ahead with life.

4 . Learn to let go of wrongs and tell yourself that no one is perfect but God.

5. Seek professional advice when you notice strange attitude in you or your friend.

6. Let the word of God be in your heart always.

7. Psycho-pharmacological treatment approach simultaneously.

8. You need a friend who is sincere and can tell you the truth about the significant negative change in you.

9. Know who you are and your limitations.


You can be helped from bitterness healing when moving forward and working through unforgiveness When we are willing to forgive we unleash a prodigious amount of peace in our lives. It opens up channels of communication, hope and unblocks our resistance to change. "A lack of forgiveness tends to build a fortress around us and keep us from participating with friends and family," author Connie Domino wrote.

Holding onto what you or someone else has done is another assault on the mind and body. Acknowledge your frustrations, dismay or cry for a release. Unforgiveness should not be allowed in order not to pull the strings on your heart and mind.

Please note that your mental health is in your hands and it is what you make of yourself from these hurt, bitterness and disappointments that you become. If only we can let go of these things. When it happens, the psychiatrists, counsellors and psychologists will have little or no job to do.



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