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Grief is the human response to the loss of a loved one or someone or something to whom we had a connection. Grief can manifest itself in different ways for different people. Some people will become depressed and anxious GIDEON INSERT LINK while others will act like nothing ever happened. Some people will become anti-social and avoid family and friends – some people even refuse to leave their houses. Others may move on quickly, leading to unresolved guilt which can fester. Most people who are grieving need support in some shape or form, even if they do not ask for it.

5 stages of grief

Some people find it useful to consider the 5 stages of grief as introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969. Not everyone will go through this cycle, however, it depends on the individual and their set of circumstances.

The five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Denial: the person refuses to believe that their loved one is gone or that they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. They could act as though nothing has happened. This is the mind’s way of coping and protecting one from the trauma.

Anger: the person becomes angry at the world, God, family and survivors. The anger can be directed at others who have not experienced grief of the same nature.

Bargaining: the person will bargain with themselves, God, family, friends or anyone. They might believe that bargaining and making a deal with God might change the reality.

Depression: when the person begins to accept the reality, depression may set in. This is the most common “face” of grief. Symptoms of depression can include sleep problems, weakened concentration, lack of motivation, withdrawal from friends and family and weight loss or weight gain. See our section on depression for more information

Acceptance: once a person has moved through the above stages, they may accept their new reality. They may embrace their new reality and have a more positive outlook.

Not everyone will move through these stages, and some may not proceed in the same order.

Grief counseling

It is important that those who are grieving seek support in grief counseling. This can be individual therapy or even a grief support group. A counselor will help the person process their feelings of grief and understand that grief is an unavoidable part of life.

If you are grieving please contact one of our online therapists for individual attention.