Are you, or someone you love, dealing with grief after a tragic loss? To get help, It’s important to learn more about the stages of grief as well as how you can seek treatment along the way.
If you’re feeling stuck in one of these stages, it’s time to get the help that you need. Keep reading to learn more about the stages of grief you may experience as well as some advice for how to cope.
Stage 1: Denial
Denial is often the first stage of grief that many experiences. Grief is a very overwhelming and powerful emotion, and it’s normal to respond with intense or sudden feelings. Many pretend or have a hard time believing the change or loss occurred in the early stages of grief to cope with the overwhelming emotion.
Denial may give someone more time to absorb and process the news, making it a common defense mechanism as it numbs the individual from the intensity of the emotion. However, it’s likely that as one moves out of the denial stage, emotions that have been buried will likely begin to arise. This could cause one to confront the sorrow they have been denying which can be difficult.
Stage 2: Anger
While denial is a coping mechanism, anger is a masking stage of grief. Anger may be an emotion some turn to due to the painful emotions they are facing. This anger may be directed at other people, from the person that one is grieving, to family and friends that are trying to be supportive.
Some may even feel anger towards objects or situations. While the rational brain knows that the object of anger is not to blame for the death, the emotions that someone that is grieving has may be too intense to realize that. Anger may come out of feelings such as resentment or bitterness.
It’s important to note that this anger may not always look like clear-cut fury or rage. Some may not even come across this stage, whereas others will linger in it. However, as the anger begins to subside, one may be able to begin thinking more rationally and begin facing the emotions that have been pushed aside.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Grief often leaves victims feeling helpless, hopeless, and extremely vulnerable. It’s not uncommon for those feeling these emotions to try to find ways to regain control in their lives or feel like they can control the outcome of a situation or event. Someone in the bargaining stage of grief may often begin creating many “what if” or “if only” situations or statements.
Some may try to make an agreement, deal, or promise to a higher power in return for some kind of relief or healing from the pain and grief they are feeling. This stage acts as a line of defense for someone feeling vulnerable and desperate as it works to postpone confusion, sadness, and suffering. Some may begin coming up with things they or others should have or could have done to prevent the death from occurring.
Stage 4: Depression
While stages like anger and bargaining feel very active, depression may feel like a more quiet stage of grief. The beginning stages of grief may feel like one is running away from their emotions or trying to get ahead of them. However, at this stage in the process, one may be able to work through these emotions in a healthier manner.
Some may choose to isolate themselves for a period of time to work through and cope with the loss. However, like the other stages in the grieving process, it is not an easy step. Depression following a death can be messy, overwhelming, confusing, or heavy.
While this can be a normal stage to go through, if someone is stuck in this stage it is best to seek mental help.
Stage 5: Acceptance
Accepting the death of someone means that one will come to understand what that means in their life now. However, it’s important to note that this is not a necessarily uplifting or happy stage in the process, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has moved on from the event. There are many different ways that one can feel during this stage.
Stage 6: Finding Meaning
In this stage, one works to remember someone that has passes with more love than pain. This stage may involve someone looking for ways to honor someone they have lost by taking up new practices or working to help others. Someone in this stage may look for ways to put the pieces of their life together again in order to move forward.
Eventually, one will begin to cultivate a gradual acceptance of their new way of life. They may begin seeing possibilities of the future and other sources of hope.
Stages of Grief: Treatment Options
Grieving is an incredibly difficult process, and it’s not unusual for those going through it to need professional treatment. If you or someone you love is stuck in one of the stages of grief, they may be experiencing complicated grief disorder, also referred to as complicated bereavement disorder. While difficulties during grieving are normal, if the grief becomes debilitating or chronic, it’s time to get help.
Are you looking for a treatment option that will help to overcome debilitating or chronic grief caused by these disorders? If so, contact the Sunrise California Sunrise Recovery Center today to get the help you or someone you love needs.