Most people have more than likely experienced grief at some point in their life. It’s not uncommon and if left untreated can rapidly spiral into destructive behaviors.
What is Grief?
Deep sorrow, extreme sadness, overwhelming emotions — these are all descriptions of grief. It usually happens after the death of a loved one and can continue indefinitely. In most cases, time is usually the best treatment. However, many people have experienced uncontrollable grief that may require medical attention. If left untreated, grief can lead to extreme isolation and a sense of loneliness.
There are five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each stage comes with its own challenges and may manifest differently for each individual. In many instances, a person may not experience all 5 stages of grief.
Denial Is more like a coping stage. A person will be in denial because they may not be able to deal with the sorrow at the moment.
Anger is when true emotions are hidden. A person may be angry at everyone for absolutely anything. During this stage, people become irrational.
Bargaining is a means to make it even, balanced, just, or right. During this stage, you will notice a person start to suggest alternate outcomes of the situation with “what if” and “if only”.
Depression is almost self explanatory in this day and age. People in this stage will experience extreme sadness and a loss of interest to do almost anything. This is usually the stage where most people would seek medical help.
Acceptance is the moving-on stage. This is the stage where people accept that their life will be much different and find ways to continue on with life.
How to Help Yourself and/or Others
I believe that any person experiencing any traumatic event or disruption in their life should seek medical help. In most cases, doctors will recommend therapy or a support group to help you through the process of grieving. Most people do not seek medical attention until the depression stage; after they’ve destroyed meaningful personal and business relationships during the anger stage.
If you or someone you know is experiencing grief, seek support immediately. Your family and friends are your first level of support. Many times, just knowing someone is caring enough to listen can help. However, take notice when things are taking a bad turn and seek medical help. There are numerous coping strategies and even treatments that your doctor can recommend to help alleviate the extreme pain of grief.