Duration-wise, depression is the longest stage of grief. People may stay in this stage for months or even years. Feelings of hopelessness, melancholy, and lack of excitement can be brought on by depression.
A Brief Overview on Grief – Stages and Causes
What Is Grief?
Medical practitioners have explained grief as an overwhelming emotion that sometimes gets ingrained deeply in a person's mind. It can arise in the first place due to losing a close person or as a side-effect of a terminal illness diagnosis.
Grief effects may or may not be similar for two people though the issue has been acknowledged globally. The affected individuals generally feel isolated from the crowd. Moreover, a sense of deep loss gradually swallows their headspace, disabling them from figuring out regular engagements.
What Are the Causes of Grief?
Doctors have not yet found any specific set of reasons that cause prolonged grief. However, the most common form of grief arises when somebody loses their loved one. But this is just one of the prominent causes. According to the reports produced by the University of Rochester medical researchers, grief can happen due to multiple other factors. These include:
- Loss of an old friend
- Discontinuation of a job leading to no practical earning source
- Dropping successive opportunities which could have helped realise your ambition
- Unfortunate end of a romantic relation
- Demise of a pet, etc.
Falling into grief for any of the above reasons is normal, as every human needs time to cope with a personal crisis. But if they fail to come out of this mental state for over a year, they can get submerged in a grave disorder. Hence, if you find any family members or friends passing through this, you can offer them leads of psychologists who can offer them help.
What Are the Stages of Grief?
1. DenialThe very moment you suffer a loss, it takes some time to get absorbed in the situation. Depending on its impact you may be severely shocked for a while, thinking ‘What will happen next?’ Most importantly, your brain’s defence mechanism tries to convince you that nothing has changed indeed. This even gets reflected in your behaviour as well.
After the denial wears off, unbearable pain begins to replace it. It is crucial to truly experience the pain, rather than trying to conceal it, avoid it, or flee from it with intoxications, even if it is agonising and nearly intolerable.
You can feel regret or guilt about your actions or behaviour with your loved one. During this time, life seems chaotic and frightening.
3. OutrageIn this stage, you tend to realise the actual loss slowly. It in turn makes you feel helpless, and the frustration keeps growing as you cannot vent out the anger. Often family members having limited knowledge regarding what grief is, fail to figure out the cause of this anger. Anyway, feeling angry from thinking about the abrupt separation from your loved one is pretty normal.
4. BargainingIn the bargaining phase, people suffering from grief wonder about solutions that could have possibly stopped the disaster from taking place. Questions like ‘If only…’ or ‘What if’ often come across their mind which generates stress. Also, people start blaming their past actions which practically have very little to do with the current situation.
5. DepressionYou walk into depression when you completely realise the impact of loss. It is normal to lose appetite, suffer from insomnia, or feel lonely when you are depressed. These conditions may persist for a prolonged period and require medical intervention to recover the regular life course.
6. ReconstructionYour mind will begin to operate again as you get more functional. Gradually you will discover that you are looking for practical answers to the challenges that come with living without your loved one. You will attempt to focus on solving your practical and financial issues as well as rebuilding yourself and your life without them.
7. AcceptanceIn this last stage of grieving, you slowly adapt to the present scenario. You understand that nothing can be done to undo the consequences. Hence you prepare yourself for moving on and starting a new chapter in life. However, the sadness will remain, though it will not harm your productivity in daily life.
When Should You Get Professional Help?
At times it becomes too complicated to get out of grief all on your own. ‘Complicated grief’ is the medical terminology doctors use to describe such situations. It is highly advised to see a psychologist, especially when:
- You cannot help but blame yourself for everything that has gone wrong.
- Effects of depression are not fading away even after prolonged suffering.
- You are becoming more forgetful day by day, which is affecting your relationships and work.
- Thoughts of self-harming cross your mind now and then.
If you are uncertain about what grief is then we suggest you understand the symptoms. Also, if the effects persist for too long, seek a doctor's help. The goal should be to accept the condition and calmly go through recovery.
FAQs about Overview of Grief – Stages and Causes
Here are some well-proven practices that can help you cope with the effects of grief:
- You can attend every ritual to stay among your close people.
- Learn to embrace your feelings. If you sense an emotional outburst coming on, don't stop yourself from crying.
- When you have trustworthy people around you, discuss your issues with them.
- Start preserving positive memories.
First, understand that various unanticipated emotions may get triggered by grief. It will help if you meet those who care about you for in-person assistance. Most importantly, you can boost your mental health by prioritising self-care needs.
Acute grieving is often accompanied by chronic stress, which can cause a range of medical and psychological problems. These include depression, insomnia, prolonged resentment and bitterness, anxiety, appetite loss, and common body aches.
Other Important Articles about Death Support
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