Home Blog Recovery News Understanding Grief: What Are the Stages of Grief?

Understanding Grief: What Are the Stages of Grief?

Understanding Grief

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As human beings, we all go through sadness and loss at some point in our lives. When a loved one dies, people grieve, and that’s a perfectly natural response.

But just because it’s a normal occurrence doesn’t necessarily mean we’re well-equipped to deal with our overwhelming emotions. As a defense mechanism, many of us turn to unhealthy outlets, such as drugs and alcohol. But these are just temporary bandaids that don’t actually address our root problems.

To do so, understanding grief is extremely important. Only then can you completely come to terms with something like terminal illness or the loss of a loved one.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different stages of grief and how to go through a healthy grieving process.

What Are the Stages of Grief?

In general, there are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The concept of the 5 stages of grief was formed by Elisabeth Kübler Ross, who wrote a book on death and dying called “On Death and Dying” back in 1969.

While each person will experience the stages in different lengths, the process is pretty much the same for everyone.

Below, we’ll explain each stage in the Kübler Ross model in detail.

Denial

Before you start to cope with the loss of a loved one, you’re most likely in shock. Dealing with loss can be incredibly overwhelming, so your body tries to minimize this feeling by delaying the acknowledgment of such a loss.

On the surface, it can appear as if you’re just trying to pretend this devastating event never happened. But below, your mind is actually trying to process this major life event.

Not only is this a denial stage, but it’s also a reflection stage. You may run through all your memories with the person you lost and you might even start to try figuring out how life will be like without them. 

Anger

Among health professionals, many agree that anger is a secondary emotion. Yes, it’s a “secondary emotion” since it’s the second stage of grief, but it’s also a feeling that comes from something else.

For example, if you get rejected by your crush, you might feel angry. But you’re not actually angry at the person, but rather, you’re angry because you feel embarrassed.

Anger works in the same way with grief. After you’re over the initial shock from the loss of a loved one, you’ll feel angry because you’re scared of life without them. Plus, you may be dealing with so many different emotions that you get frustrated and anger bubbles to the top.

In this stage of grief, it’s very common for people to spiral out of control and turn to promiscuity, alcohol, and drugs.

Bargaining

After anger comes bargaining. The pain from grief may be so crushing that you’re willing to do anything to alleviate it. Often, people will turn to a higher power, even if they haven’t been religious in a while, or even not at all in the past.

If the loved one is still alive but has a terminal illness, you might find yourself asking God to spare them in exchange for more devoutness from you. Because you feel powerless as a human being to help your loved one, it’s a desperate attempt for a higher power to intervene and make things alright again.

Depression

At this point, you’re getting close to acceptance, but you’re not quite there yet. Bargaining with a higher power didn’t work, so it feels like there’s nothing left except impending doom.

The initial feelings of shock and panic are most likely dissipating, giving you a clearer outlook on the situation. Depression takes over, which may have a significant impact on your physical and mental health.

You might stop caring about yourself, cease going to social events, and might be tired and/or sleeping all the time. This is completely natural, but can still be debilitating.

Acceptance

Finally, in the end, you accept the situation as it is. You’re probably still sad, but not in a state of depression anymore. You have more clarity about the situation can more easily accept it and move on.

What Are Healthy Ways to Deal With the Stages of Loss?

The best way to deal with the stages of loss is to have a strong support system. This can be family, friends, or a grief recovery support group. Remember, your friends and family love you, so they’ll be more than happy to help you through this dark and tough time.

If you’re struggling with addiction on top of grief, then you may want to seek treatment at a rehabilitation center. Not only can they help you get off drugs or alcohol in a safe manner, but they can also provide professional counseling services to address the issues at hand. You can learn healthy methods to deal with not only your current grief, but also difficult situations in the future.

You Don’t Have to Go Through Understanding Grief Alone

Perhaps you’ve turned to unhealthy outlets to deal with the death of a loved one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get good days back.

Understanding grief and recognizing that you have an issue is powerful, and it’s certainly the right direction to go in. The next step would be to get some help and to maybe join a support group and rehab. With some positive reinforcement and the right tools to deal with grief, you’ll find it easier to push away your addictions and get on the road to sobriety.

Are you ready to address your grief and move forward with your life in a healthy manner? Then please get in touch with us today. Our rehab center in Costa Mesa has an expert medical team and counselors to help you every step of the way.

.

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As human beings, we all go through sadness and loss at some point in our lives. When a loved one dies, people grieve, and that’s a perfectly natural response.

But just because it’s a normal occurrence doesn’t necessarily mean we’re well-equipped to deal with our overwhelming emotions. As a defense mechanism, many of us turn to unhealthy outlets, such as drugs and alcohol. But these are just temporary bandaids that don’t actually address our root problems.

To do so, understanding grief is extremely important. Only then can you completely come to terms with something like terminal illness or the loss of a loved one.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different stages of grief and how to go through a healthy grieving process.

What Are the Stages of Grief?

In general, there are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The concept of the 5 stages of grief was formed by Elisabeth Kübler Ross, who wrote a book on death and dying called “On Death and Dying” back in 1969.

While each person will experience the stages in different lengths, the process is pretty much the same for everyone.

Below, we’ll explain each stage in the Kübler Ross model in detail.

Denial

Before you start to cope with the loss of a loved one, you’re most likely in shock. Dealing with loss can be incredibly overwhelming, so your body tries to minimize this feeling by delaying the acknowledgment of such a loss.

On the surface, it can appear as if you’re just trying to pretend this devastating event never happened. But below, your mind is actually trying to process this major life event.

Not only is this a denial stage, but it’s also a reflection stage. You may run through all your memories with the person you lost and you might even start to try figuring out how life will be like without them. 

Anger

Among health professionals, many agree that anger is a secondary emotion. Yes, it’s a “secondary emotion” since it’s the second stage of grief, but it’s also a feeling that comes from something else.

For example, if you get rejected by your crush, you might feel angry. But you’re not actually angry at the person, but rather, you’re angry because you feel embarrassed.

Anger works in the same way with grief. After you’re over the initial shock from the loss of a loved one, you’ll feel angry because you’re scared of life without them. Plus, you may be dealing with so many different emotions that you get frustrated and anger bubbles to the top.

In this stage of grief, it’s very common for people to spiral out of control and turn to promiscuity, alcohol, and drugs.

Bargaining

After anger comes bargaining. The pain from grief may be so crushing that you’re willing to do anything to alleviate it. Often, people will turn to a higher power, even if they haven’t been religious in a while, or even not at all in the past.

If the loved one is still alive but has a terminal illness, you might find yourself asking God to spare them in exchange for more devoutness from you. Because you feel powerless as a human being to help your loved one, it’s a desperate attempt for a higher power to intervene and make things alright again.

Depression

At this point, you’re getting close to acceptance, but you’re not quite there yet. Bargaining with a higher power didn’t work, so it feels like there’s nothing left except impending doom.

The initial feelings of shock and panic are most likely dissipating, giving you a clearer outlook on the situation. Depression takes over, which may have a significant impact on your physical and mental health.

You might stop caring about yourself, cease going to social events, and might be tired and/or sleeping all the time. This is completely natural, but can still be debilitating.

Acceptance

Finally, in the end, you accept the situation as it is. You’re probably still sad, but not in a state of depression anymore. You have more clarity about the situation can more easily accept it and move on.

What Are Healthy Ways to Deal With the Stages of Loss?

The best way to deal with the stages of loss is to have a strong support system. This can be family, friends, or a grief recovery support group. Remember, your friends and family love you, so they’ll be more than happy to help you through this dark and tough time.

If you’re struggling with addiction on top of grief, then you may want to seek treatment at a rehabilitation center. Not only can they help you get off drugs or alcohol in a safe manner, but they can also provide professional counseling services to address the issues at hand. You can learn healthy methods to deal with not only your current grief, but also difficult situations in the future.

You Don’t Have to Go Through Understanding Grief Alone

Perhaps you’ve turned to unhealthy outlets to deal with the death of a loved one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get good days back.

Understanding grief and recognizing that you have an issue is powerful, and it’s certainly the right direction to go in. The next step would be to get some help and to maybe join a support group and rehab. With some positive reinforcement and the right tools to deal with grief, you’ll find it easier to push away your addictions and get on the road to sobriety.

Are you ready to address your grief and move forward with your life in a healthy manner? Then please get in touch with us today. Our rehab center in Costa Mesa has an expert medical team and counselors to help you every step of the way.

.

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