Embitterment: The Nature of the Construct and Critical Issues in the Light of COVID-19

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Aug 27;8(3):304. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8030304.


Embitterment is a construct that is vast and complex and may be seen in a variety of conditions and circumstances. The following paper reviews the construct of embitterment and tries to explain the concept from a psychological perspective. It also looks at the role of embitterment in the genesis of psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD, while focusing on the nature and factors needed to make a diagnosis of Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder. Situations due to the current pandemic where embitterment may develop are discussed and this is coupled with a need to manage embitterment when it develops, as it may progress to a chronic condition where its effects may be both physical and psychological. Embitterment and its management from a psychotherapy standpoint is also discussed and the same is done from a workplace perspective.

Keywords: COVID-19; embitterment; pandemic; posttraumatic embitterment disorder; psychotherapy; workplace.

Publication types

  • Review