Different Stages Of Grief Your Need To Know About – 5 Stage Model And 7 Stage Model
Grief has no boundaries and is universal. We all have our low points in life, somewhere or the other we have encountered grief or are about to deal with it for sure. That’s how life works. You might have gone through it because of the death of your loved one, or due to the ending of a relationship, or might be due to the loss of a job.
It also may be due to some issues that can change your life entirely. You never know when it may approach you and how it can touch your senses. Grief emotions are very personal. We cannot expect it to be linear or neat.
As we already know grief follows no timelines or schedules. You might feel like crying, withdrawing, becoming angry, or feeling very empty. All these things let you nowhere and you know it still you will not be able to recognize the potential points of concern at that time. Don’t consider these emotions to be unusual or wrong, they are very common.
All of us have different ways of grieving but when we talk about stages of grief, there are some similarities in these phases. Stages of grief involve an order in the grieving patterns of different people. Let me tell you all the details so that you can prevent stressing out.
Where Did Stages Of Grieve Begin From?
A Swiss-American Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote a book “On Death And Dying” in the year 1969. This book had information on stages of grief. It mentioned that there are 5 stages of grief. She worked for years with terminally ill individuals and noted these observations which included 5 stages of grief.
The theory she gave on stages of grief has become popular as Kubler Ross Model. It was basically designed for ill people in the beginning. Later on, these stages of grief were adapted for other experiences as well that included loss.
Other than these 5 stages of grief, 7 stages and 2 stages of grief exist as well. We have been determined which we shall discuss in this article.
Stages Of Grief
As mentioned earlier, the main model on stages of grief includes 5 different stages. These are:
Remember, these are just to describe how grief grows in a person. Everyone will not experience similar all similar stages of grief or the order given above might not be the same for you.
The way individuals deal with grief is entirely different. Sometimes people begin to cope up with loss during the bargaining stage while in the next stage you may sense denial and anger.
Sometimes people remain only in one stage for several months and skips all other stages totally.
Let me give you a detailed overview of all these stages.
Stage 1 In Stages Of Grief (Denial)
Not to forget, grief is among the most overwhelming emotions. It is not unusual to reciprocate sudden feelings or intense feelings by pretending that loss or a change is not occurring. When you deny the situation or go into the denial phase, you are giving your brain more time to gradually process and absorb the news.
This is a very common defense mechanism that your body performs to deal with the intensity of that situation. Once you have started moving away from the denial phase, the feelings you have been hiding from the past several days, weeks, or months will start flashing or begin to rise again.
All of a sudden you will be confronted with immense sorrow that you have denied earlier. This is again a part of your journey of grief and can be difficult.
If you have faced any of the situations mentioned below or see your close one saying such things, they are definitely in the denial phase. Consider the examples.
- Divorce or breakup: “The other person is just angry or upset over us, they will be coming back to me tomorrow”.
- Death: “he is not gone far, he is about to come to me anytime soon. Just wait for him to come”.
- Loss Of Job: “They are highly mistaken, they will need me soon and call me to join again”.
- Illness: “I am not the one having this illness, the results are entirely wrong”.
Stage 2 In Stages Of Grief (Anger)
Most people consider denial as a coping mechanism to deal with loss while anger is seen as a masking effect. Anger is used by many people to hide all other emotions and feelings they have especially emotional having pain.
This anger is usually redirected at different people to remove the burden such as your ex, the person who is dead, or your ex-boss. Sometimes you will end up showing anger to inanimate objects.
Your rational brain is aware that the object you are throwing or people you are dealing with at that point in time is not the person or objects to blame and release your anger but your feelings are so intense at that time that you do not feel that and end up taking harsh steps.
Anger has the tendency to mark itself when you have feelings like resentment or bitterness. You will not see it as rage or clean-cut-fury. If this stage is mentioned in stages of relief it does not mean you will face it, sometimes you may not go through or skip this phase.
Once the anger subsides, other emotions that were masked are likely to come back and your rational brain works properly. You will realize a lot of things and emotions you have been hiding for a long.
Some Examples of the anger stage.
- Breakup or divorce: “I will never forgive him, I hate him, he is going to regret leaving me alone”
- Loss of Job: “My boss is absolutely terrible, I hope his company collapses or fails”
- Illness: “where is god? how can he let such a thing happen to me”
- Death: “if she was careful and cared for herself, we could have avoided falling into such situation”.
Stage 3 In Stages Of Grief (Bargaining)
At times when the grief takes over, you are likely to feel helpless and vulnerable. In such moments when the emotions are so intense it is very common that you will start searching for ways that can help you achieve your control back and want to feel as if you can do something that can affect the entire outcomes of that event.
When you come is bargaining stages of relief you will notice that some terms are very often used by you in any statements you make like “what if” or “if only”.
For people who are extremely religious, it is not uncommon that you will bargain relief from all the pain and suffering. You will feel that higher power that can help you get rid of all the suffrage is necessary.
Bargaining is just a defense mechanism humans use to deal with pain. It will help in postponing all the sadness, hurt, or confusion that you are facing.
Some examples of this include:
- Breakup or divorce: “I wish I had given her more time, if I had stayed longer, she would have never left me”
- Loss of job: “if only I had given more time on weekends to my work, my boss would have recognized how valuable I was to them”
- Illness: “if only we had come a little bit earlier for diagnosis, we could have done something to stop this”
- Death: ” What if I didn’t call her that night, and she chose to take her life?”
Stage 4 In Stages Of Grief (Depression)
After you have gone through the above stages of grief, you might have noticed stages that these stages of grief are quite active, whereas depression appears to be something more related to grief.
In the stages of grief mentioned above, you have seen people running away or neglecting intense emotions they had due to grief, but in this stage, people are able to embrace the pain. They will not run one step ahead to overcome the fear of facing intense pain.
People can also see to be isolating themselves from other people to completely cope up with the feelings of loss.
This does not signify depression is something that can be dealt with easily. Similar to other stages of grief, depression can be as powerful and intense. It can be even more overwhelming than others. You will feel very confused, foggy, and heavy at times.
Depression is a point in stages of grief where a person can get stuck entirely. If you feel you cannot overcome the sanity and stress caused due to loss, work with a therapist to deal with the issue. You are not the only one who has this problem. Many people have successfully left behind this phase in life.
Some examples of the stage of depression:
- Breakup: “why go on in the future?”
- Loss of Job: “I don’t know how to proceed from this stage?”
- Illness: ” My whole life has come to this bad end”
- Death: “What am I doing without him or her?”
Stage 5 In Stages Of Grief (Acceptance)
Now that you have to the final stage as we have seen in the stages of relief, you might feel that this is the last stage so this might be an uplifting or happy stage, but this is not always so. It only means you have accepted the grief, and you know what will happen next.
You might feel very different when you come to this stage. It is entirely acceptable. You have gone through a lot of different changes in your life stages.
Some examples that you can see to figure out if you have reached this stage or not:
- Breakup: “this was ultimately the healthy choice for me”
- Loss of job: “I will try my best to look for another way to start a new path”.
- Terminal Illness: “I have the opportunity to create the best out of the days left with me”
- Death: “I am very fortunate that I got to spend so much time with her and have such amazing memories that will be cherished forever”.
These were the 5 stages of grief given by Elizabeth Kubler Ross.
Sometimes you will get to read about the 7 stages of grief. These stages are:
- Shock and denial
- Pain and guilt.
- Anger and bargaining.
- The upward turn.
- Reconstruction and working through the entire process.
- Acceptance and hope to build a better future.
The Bottomline Of Stages Of Grief
The key to deal with grief and loss is to realize that all people do not experience the same thing. The feeling of grief is entirely personal and you may not want to share it very often. You may need several weeks or years to deal with grief.
You can always seek help from mental health experts or psychiatrists to deal with the issues quickly. These emotions are weighted, you have to keep calm and patient to deal with them.