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Forest

Grief

Grief is part of everyone's life at some point. Grief refers to the process of recovery from the death of a loved one, and grief is a response to any form of loss. Both contain a wide range of emotions such as fear, anger, and very deep sadness.

What is Grief?

Grief is the emotional response to a loss, typically that of a loved one. Grief can involve many different emotions (sadness, anger, guilt) and can have a significant mental and physical impact on those affected. Many people are familiar with the five phases of grief that Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross describes in her book death and dying  more than 50 years ago. Kübler-Ross designed the model to Describe the emotional journey of the dying. She theorized that people who process grief follow a certain pattern:

  1. denial- "No, not me, that can't be true"

  2. Fury- "Why me?"

  3. Negotiate- Attempt to delay death through "good behavior".

  4. depression- as they react to their illness and prepare for their death

  5. acceptance- "The last rest before the long journey"

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While this provides a basic framework for understanding grief, researchers have since expanded the Kübler-Ross model to account for the highly individualized nature of grief. Many people experience these stages in a different order, or they may not experience all of them, and feelings of grief can recur throughout a person's life.

Today the same model is explained by a new version called the Kübler-Ross change curve, in which many more stages of grief are involved and acceptance is described as much more evolving than linear.

1.  Shock

2. Rejection

3. Anger and frustration

4. Depression

5. Testing

6. Decision

7. Integration

Old Model of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross over Grief:

1.

denial

2.

Fury

3.

Negotiate

4.

depression

5.

acceptance

New Model of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross over Grief:

1.

shock

2.

denial

3.

Anger and frustration

4.

testing

5.

decisions

6.

depression

 

7.

integration

Common Symptons of Grief

The process of adjusting to a loss can change dramatically from person to person depending on their background, beliefs, relationship with the deceased, and other factors.

Common symptoms of grief can be physical, emotional, or social.

Physically

  • Cry and sigh

  • Headache

  • Loss of appetite

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Weakness

  • Fatigue

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Emotionally

  • Feelings of sadness and longing

  • Feelings of worry or anger

  • Feelings of frustration or guilt

​​

Social

  • Feeling detached from others

  • Self-isolation from social contacts

  • Behavior that is not normal for you

When to seek help because of Grief?

Every grieving experience is different. A person may be able to continue with their daily routine after a loss but be unable to get out of bed after the loss of another person. Whatever your personal symptoms, bereavement and bereavement counseling has proven helpful.

If you are experiencing grief-related thoughts, behaviors, or feelings that are distressing, please contact us at Practice Alive for oneindividual therapy. You are not alone!

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