This is a question that many people ask, and it is a topic that has been studied extensively. The answer to this question is not simple, because everyone experiences grief in their own way. However, there are some common stages that most people go through when they are grieving the loss of a loved one or something else that is important to them.
In this blog post, we will discuss what the seven stages are, their origins, what they mean for you, and how to develop healthy coping strategies.
Grief is a natural emotion that we all experience at some point in our lives. It is the response to a momentous loss, and it can be triggered by the death of a loved one, pets, family members, the end of a relationship, or any other type of major life change.
Grief is often misunderstood because it is not a linear process. It does not have a beginning, middle, and end like other emotions. Instead, it is more like a wave that ebbs and flows over time. You may feel like you are making progress and then suddenly find yourself feeling just as bad as you did when you first experienced the loss. Not everyone experiences loss and goes through the stages of grief in the same way and nothing can predict the grief reaction that an individual may experience.
This can be confusing and frustrating, but it is important to remember that grief is normal and natural. There is no right or
The 7 Stages of Grief Origins
The seven stages of grief were first proposed by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book “On Death and Dying”, which was originally published back in 1969. Dr. Kübler-Ross had originally proposed a five stages of grief model, which was later expanded to include two more stages. Dr. Kübler-Ross was a Swiss psychiatrist who worked with patients who were suffering from a terminal illness. During hospice care, she noticed that many of them went through similar stages as they came to terms with their medical condition and impending death.
The stages are not meant to be linear, and they may not all be experienced, or in the same order.
These stages are:
– Shock and denial
– Pain and guilt
– Anger and bargaining
– The upward turn
– Reconstruction and working through
– Acceptance and hope
These stages are not necessarily experienced in order, and some people may never reach the final stage of acceptance. However, understanding these stages and developing effective coping strategies can help you to work through the grieving process in a healthy way.
If you’re having trouble with the different stages of grief, there’s help available. You can always contact a qualified mental health professional at Mindflow Recovery Institute and inquire about our grief counseling services by dialing 833-957-2690.
The 7 Stages of Grief Explained
Stage One: Shock and Denial
The first stage of grief, and the initial reaction to loss, are shock and denial. This is a natural response to loss. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate impact of the loss. In this stage, people often act as if they are in a daze or shock. This may last for weeks or even months.
Stage Two: Pain and Guilt
The second stage of grief is pain and guilt. As the reality of the loss sets in, the grieving person may feel overwhelming sadness and despair. They may also feel guilty, wondering if there was anything they could have done to prevent the loss. Some people may even blame themselves for what happened.
This can sometimes lead to what’s known as “complicated grief” which we’ll explore in more detail in a moment.
Stage Three: Anger and Bargaining
The third stage of grief is anger and bargaining. During this stage, people may experience anger towards those who they think are responsible for the loss. During the bargaining stage, they may also try to bargain with God or fate, asking for a second chance.
Stage Four: Depression
The fourth stage of grief is depression. This is when people start to accept what has happened and begin to rebuild their life. However, they may still feel sadness and despair. They may also feel disconnected from others and withdraw from social activities.
Stage Five: Reconstruction and Working Through
The fifth stage of grief is reconstruction and working through. During this stage, people start to put their life back together. They may find new hobbies or interests and reconnect with friends and family members. They may also start to look for meaning in their loss.
Stage Six: Acceptance
The sixth stage of grief is acceptance. This is when people come to terms with what has happened and start to move on with their life. They may still have moments of sadness, but they can live a full life despite their loss.
Stage Seven: Hope
The seventh and final stage of grief is hope. This is when people have made peace with their loss and can find joy in the present moment. They may still think about their loved ones, but they are no longer consumed by grief. Instead, during this last stage, they focus on the positive aspects of their life.
Though there is no right or wrong way to grieve, understanding the various stages can help you move through the process. If you find yourself stuck in any of the stages, reach out to a therapist or counselor at Mindflow Recovery who can help you work through your grief at 833-957-2690.
What is Complicated Grief?
As discussed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) – complicated grief, also known as prolonged grief disorder (PGD), is a diagnosable condition that can occur when someone experiences what is considered to be an “abnormal” or “prolonged” grief reaction. Those who are suffering from prolonged grief disorder are described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as people who, due to their overwhelming grief, are unable to resume their daily lives even a year after their loss.
Complicated grief can manifest in different ways, but some common symptoms include:
– feeling deep sadness or disconnected from the world
– feeling like you’re in a daze or dream-like state
– having trouble sleeping or eating
– feeling agitated or restless
– feeling hopeless, helpless
– avoiding people or places that remind you of the person you lost
Research suggests that about 20% of people who experience a significant loss of a loved one or family member will go on to develop PGD or experience complicated grief. While there is no one-size-fits-all timeline for grieving or mental disorders, if your complicated grief is interfering with your ability to work, attend school, take care of yourself, socialize, or enjoy life after a year has passed – it may be time to seek professional mental health services.
What are the causes and risk factors of Complicated Grief or PGD?
While the death of a loved one is the most common cause of PGD, other forms of loss can also trigger grief reactions.
These may include:
– The end of a relationship
– The loss of a pet
– The loss of a job or income
– A natural disaster
– A diagnosis of a terminal illness
Certain risk factors may also increase the likelihood of developing prolonged grief, including:
– A history of mental health disorders
– A history of trauma or abuse
– A lack of social support
– Substance abuse
– Previous experience with loss or grief
If you are struggling with any type of loss, if you find yourself stuck in any of the stages of grief, or if your grief is negatively impacting your day-to-day life – it may be helpful to reach out to a professional for help.
At Mindflow Recovery, we offer free online mental health consultations and would be happy to chat with you about what our grief and mental health services entail. Give us a call at 833-957-2690. We’re here to help.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does one work through the grieving process?
There is no one answer to this question as everyone will experience grief and process things differently. Some may find solace in talking about their loss with friends, co-workers, classmates, or family members, while others may prefer to deal with their grief privately. Some people may find comfort in religious or spiritual practices, while others may find relief through therapy with healthcare professionals or counseling with a grief recovery coach.
Ultimately, there is no wrong way for a grieving person to grieve, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re struggling to cope with your grief, reach out to a qualified mental health professional at Mindflow Recovery for help. A grief counselor and mental health therapist can provide you with the support and resources you need to work through your grief healthily.
What is the hardest stage of the grief process?
The hardest stage of grief is often the final stage in the grief cycle: acceptance. This is when you finally come to terms with what has happened and start to rebuild your life. It can be difficult to accept the loss of a job, family members, or loved one, but it is important to remember that everyone grieves differently and at their own pace. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it.
If you are struggling with any of the stages of grief or prolonged grief, we highly suggest that you reach out for help from a professional. Grief recovery coaches can provide support and guidance as you work through this difficult time in your life. From understanding grief to navigating the stages of grief, its physical symptoms, and more, a grief coach can help you through this tough time.
How long does it normally take someone to go through the grieving process?
There is no one answer to this question, unfortunately. The grief process looks different for everyone. Some people may move through the grief stages quickly, while others may take longer to deal with all the emotions and go through all the stages. There is no timeline for grief, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. Everyone’s emotional response is going to be different and unique to that person and that specific situation.
If you find yourself stuck in any of the stages of grief, or if you find that your grief is negatively impacting your day-to-day life, it may be helpful to reach out to a professional for help. Grief recovery coaches can provide support and guidance as you work through the grieving process.
Does everyone go through the 7 stages of grief?
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience all 7 stages of grief. And even if they do go through all 7 stages, they may not do so in a linear fashion. It’s common for a bereaved person to move back and forth between different stages of grief before eventually coming to terms with their loss and eventually starting the healing process.
If you’re struggling with grief after the significant loss of a loved one or family member, know that you’re not alone. Many people have gone through what you’re going through and come out the other side. With time (and often with professional help), it is possible to work through your grief and start to heal.
Can a person die from grief or PGD?
No, grief itself is not fatal. However, if it’s left untreated, grief can lead to serious health problems – both mental and physical. Emotions, like grief, can have an unimaginable impact on our bodies and our mental well-being. Anger, for example, can cause an increased risk of heart disease or heart attack, suppressed emotions can lead to depression and anxiety, and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause sleeping and eating patterns and weaken the immune system. While prolonged exposure to any of these emotional states can be dangerous, grief specifically has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and even cancer.
Start The Healing Process Today!
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, mental illness, or both, please reach out for help. There are many resources available to support you through this difficult time, whether it’s from job loss or a lost loved one.
Here are some helpful links to keep handy:
– Mindflow Recovery Institute: 833-957-2690
– National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8225)
– Crisis Text Line: text TALK to 741741 in the US
– Grief Support Resources from the American Psychological Association:
– GriefShare: griefshare.org/groups near you
Or Check Out a Bereavement Support Group
A bereavement support group is a facilitated meeting for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. These groups provide an opportunity to share what you are experiencing with others who are also grieving and to receive support and understanding from them.
If you are interested in learning more about the 7 stages of grief or how we can help you, please reach out to a qualified mental health professional at Mindflow Recovery today. We offer free consultations and would be happy to chat with you about what our grief counseling or mental health services entail. Give us a call at 833-957-2690.
You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone
We hope that this article about the 7 stages of grief and the grieving process was helpful to you.
There’s no such thing as instant happiness, and there’s no one right way to go through the grieving process. However, understanding the grief process and our emotional issues can help us feel more in control and less alone during tough times.
If you have any questions or comments about the seven stages, the grieving process, or mental disorders in general, please leave them for us below! We love hearing from those who have been through the grieving process and have come out on the other side to lead healthier lives with positive self-esteem. Thanks so much for reading!