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To Really Overcome Grief, You Have to Experience These 5 Stages

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To Really Overcome Grief, You Have to Experience These 5 Stages

There are 5 cycles or stages one usually processes through their emotions [1] when dealing with this horrible issue. Learning to overcome the grief cycle can be a daunting task. Grief sets in and takes places sometimes as a result of a death of a loved one or a super stressing situation you feel like you have failed in are two major factors that may cause grief to occur. We all need to learn about self forgiveness and how to keep our emotions in check when going through this type of trauma.

Grief usually does not kill like cancer [2] or disease but sometimes one takes drastic measures while trying to live a normal life in the cycle of grieving. Overwhelming feelings, denial, helplesness withdrawing from others, acute depression and anxiety usually appear with grief. Adapting to grief has 5 stages.

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Grief Cycle Takes 5 Steps

1. Denial and Isolation: “This really isn’t happening, this can’t be happening”

Denial and Isolation [3] happens when one first learns of an end of life illness, loss, or death of someone close to you is to deny the situation. They often go into a mold of “This really isn’t happening, this can’t be happening,” they often tell themselves. However, it’s a reaction from our minds to control overwhelming feelings. This is a defense mechanism that buffers sudden shock one faces. We block out the truth and try to hide the facts. This is called a rapid response that pulls us through the first stages of pain.

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2. Anger: “Why? Tell me why!”

Second stage is hiding the effects of denying the situation and the isolation sets in [4] , reality and pain soon takes hold to one’s emotions. The intense emotion makes us very vulnerable and redirected instead as anger. The anger may be turned toward objects, strangers, friends or family. Anger also may be directed toward the death of a loved one. Emotionally it is not uncommon that one may resent the person that’s left us or leaving us with the pain. We feel guilty for emotions of anger which only elevates the anger.

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3. Helplessness and Vulnerability:  “If I’d only done this or that, things would have been different…”

Third stage of grief is feelings of helplessness and vulnerability [5] is often a sign we need to regain control over a situation. Some thoughts that we think in this stage are “If I’d only done this or that, things would have been different. Most people try and come up with answers for grief in thinking they should have gotten more help or tried something different or perhaps a second opioions. Some also tries to make a deal with God or high powers as an attempt to post-pone death, pain or suffering, known as a defense mechanism to cope.

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4. Depression: “Nothing would help…”

Sadness and regret follow, causing bouts of depression. We worry about end of life expenses, what are we going to do and so many more thoughts of things that we need to do or how other’s depends on us that puts a mental strain on our lives. Depression can be helped [6] with many medications and also a good cognitive behavioral therapy. Family and support are also big contributors in helping depression from a grief cycle.

5. Acceptance: “It’ll never be the same again, but I’ve grown stronger too”

The last cycle in grief is acceptance to the situation. This stage of mourning is a rare commodity not given to everyone. With a sudden death or an unexpected one, we may never recooperate from the anger and denial. Some think they must be strong and igore these feelings but recovery one must accept the situation for what it is. This cycle is feelings of withdrawal and calmness. This is not when happiness returns, more-over a recovery cycle to trauma from a grief-filled situation.

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Reference

[1] PsychCentral: The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss
[2] MayoClinic: What Is Grief?
[3] WahiawaUnitedMethodistChurch: Death and Dying for The Terminal Patient
[4] GriefHealing: Loneliness and Solitude in Grief
[5] Women’sThreapyServices: Helplessness in Grief and Loss, Death and Dying
[6] TNNursery: Dealing With Depression During Grief

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