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Stages of Grief

Apr 23, 2022

Grief is a natural reaction to loss and helps people adjust to the reality of the situation. There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s important for people to understand these stages in order to help their loved ones who are dealing with grief on an ongoing basis. Learning more about stress management techniques can also help people manage their grief.

Denial

People experience denial when they can’t accept that someone has died or is dying. Many people report feeling numb, and some don’t even remember events surrounding the loss because denial made them block out what had happened. Some people find solace in denial during the early days after a person has passed away, while others become overwhelmed because denial interferes with processing information about their loved one’s medical condition.

Sometimes, denial can make people take risks because they think denial makes them invincible or provides them with an excuse to do things that would otherwise be considered dangerous. This is especially true in cases where denial causes substance use, unprotected sex, and other high-risk behaviors that could put them in danger.

Anger

When someone dies unexpectedly or if their death was preventable, it is often more difficult to deal with the grief associated with their death. People often feel angry because they can’t see why something so tragic should happen to someone who didn’t deserve it. They may also feel guilty if they think there was something else they could have done to prevent the death of the person they were grieving for.

People often find it difficult to face reality when they’re experiencing anger because it’s such a strong emotion, and people who feel angry may want to lash out at everyone around them. They may even want to hurt themselves. Anger management skills help people learn how to properly express these feelings to avoid acting on their feelings and hurting others or themselves. Some of the techniques taught during anger management classes include physical relaxation techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises and practical techniques for effectively expressing anger in positive ways.

Bargaining

Bargaining is a useful coping mechanism that allows people to regain some sense of control over their lives. Some people may bargain with God or other higher powers, asking them to return the person they lost so they could have another chance at life. Others try bargaining by making deals with family members or loved ones, hoping they won’t die until these specific things are completed. Bargaining helps people regain a focus on the future instead of only thinking about all the things they will be missing out on now that their loved one has passed away.

Depression

If you’re experiencing depression, call your doctor for suggestions about coping with depression and grief. Remember that depression is a common symptom of grief and that there are healthy ways to cope with this problem, so don’t let depression take over your life.

People dealing with depression can benefit from joining a support group where they can talk about their feelings and hear similar stories from people who understand what they’re going through because they’ve experienced the same kind of loss. This helps people realize that depression is normal after someone has passed away and doesn’t mean they’re alone in the world.

No matter how bad your depression becomes after someone dies, please remember to seek professional help immediately or call 911 if you experience symptoms like suicidal thoughts.

There are many depression coping techniques available to help people feel better about themselves. For example, you can take up a new hobby like drawing or writing, increase your social activities, and make plans for the future.

Remember not to overwhelm yourself with too many tasks at once because depression can make it difficult for you to complete one task, let alone try and do several things at once. For example, you might want to limit these depression coping techniques if they cause overwhelming feelings like anxiety as well as depression instead of alleviating those feelings.

You may also want to speak with a professional about depression coping techniques such as medication, psychotherapy, counseling, and support groups.

Even though depression may be temporary, it doesn’t mean it will magically go away on its own, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Your family and friends want to support you but may not know how so explaining what depression looks like for you will help them understand what they can do to help you during this difficult time of grief.

Acceptance

Acceptance is the last stage of grief, and it allows people to realize that there is nothing they can do to change what has happened. This doesn’t mean that people don’t grieve during this stage of the process because feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance can come in waves throughout the grieving process.

People still experience emotions like loneliness and sadness even though they aren’t as intense or all-consuming as before. Acceptance also involves accepting responsibility for the choices you made while you were angry or bereaved so you won’t fall into these traps again if something similar happens in your life.

There are many different stress management techniques that can help people cope with grief, including journaling, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, visualization exercises, anger management techniques, time management skills training, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). These can be extremely helpful for people who are experiencing bouts of grief on an ongoing basis because of the loss of friends or family members due to accidents or illnesses.

Experiencing a loss can bring up a range of emotions and thoughts. These feelings can be overwhelming at their onset, but know that those feelings will be less intense as you progress through them. Not everyone experiences all stages of grief, and they are usually not felt in a particular order, but knowing and understanding them can help you work through the progress of grief when you experience a loss.

Origins Counseling is a new program in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment and evaluation, as well as renowned clinical care for addiction. We have the compassion and professional expertise needed to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561.841.1264.

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