FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF
Grief is the natural way of dealing with loss in our life. People grieve for many reasons. We typically think of grief associated with the death of a loved one; however, people grieve over such losses as failure to achieve a goal, loss of home or job, or serious health issues.
In order to work through our loss, we often go through these stages:
DENIAL: "This can't be happening to me" is often a response to this stage of grief. This is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of the loss.
ANGER: "Why me" often enters the thoughts of one experiencing a loss. Because of this anger, the person is often difficult to deal with. They may experience rage and express their feelings toward others. When one is struggling with emotions, anger is often one of the easiest to express. It hurts less than feelings such as sadness. Some people get stuck in this stage. Unless encouraged to do so by others, therapy is not usually sought out at this stage.
BARGAINING: This stage is when one might try to manipulate their environment or those around them so that they will not have to deal with their feelings. It is a means to delay the sadness associated with loss.
DEPRESSION: During this stage, crying, sleep difficulty, feelings of hopelessness, as well as isolation from others may occur. A disconnection from things of love and affection may occur. Because one is hurting, they may seek out help through therapy. If not, friends and family should encourage it, if there is a significant change in activities of daily living.
ACCEPTANCE: The final, or fifth stage occurs when the person comes to terms with their loss. It is at this point that the person makes an effort to move forward with life.
Nona Owens, Ph.D.
580 Springridge Rd.
Clinton, Ms. 39056
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