We are available to help you recover from episodes of grief and depression. Our grief counseling in Portland will help you get back to feeling great again.
What Are The Stages Of Grief?
As thinking humans, we should interpret the stages of grief loosely and expect a lot of variation from person to person. No one one neatly progresses from one stage to the next. You could loop back from one stage to another, two stages can hit you at the same time, or they can take place out of order. However, these seven stages act as an excellent guide as to what to expect when you lose a loved one.
Stage 1: Shock & Denial
In the first stage, you might react to the death with numbed disbelief. To avoid feeling the full shock of the pain, you might deny the reality of the death on some level. The shock gives you emotional protection which keeps you from getting overwhelmed. This stage may last for a few weeks.
Stage 2: Pain & Guilt
When the initial shock wears off, it will get replaced with unimaginable suffering and pain. Although this pain can get unbearable for many people, you will need to experience the pain as fully as you can. Don’t try to hide it, escape it, or avoid it with alcohol or drugs.
At this time, you might have guilt over things that you did or didn’t do with your family member or friend. During this stage, your life may feel scary and chaotic.
Stage 3: Anger & Bargaining
At this time, frustration will give way to anger. You may also angrily lash out and unfairly blame the death on someone else. You will want to control this impulse as you could permanently damage relationships doing this. You will want to release any bottled up emotion you may have regarding the death.
You might ask “why me?” You might also try to bargain with some unnamed powers for a way out of your grief. For example, you might say that you will quit drinking if you bring back the loved one.
Stage 4: Depression, Reflection and Loneliness
At this time, you may undergo a sad period of reflection. Some well-meaning outsiders may try to talk you out of this time, but don’t let them. This time operates as a normal by-product of grief.
It is at this time that you’ll recognize the true magnitude of your loss, and it will hit you hard. You might isolate from others, reflect on activities you did with your loved one, and sense feelings of despair.
Stage 5: The Upward Turn
Your life will get calmer and more steady. The physical symptoms of grief will lessen, and your depression will slightly decrease.
Stage 6: Reconstruction & Working Through
You will become more functional, and you will begin to find solutions to the problems of life without your loved one. You will start the reconstruction of life without this person.
Stage 7: Acceptance & Hope
At this time, you will accept the reality of this situation. Accepting the situation does not mean you will instantly become happier. The you that existed before the death will never again come into existence. But you will find a way to come out of this stronger.
You will start planning for the future. You will also begin to think about your loved one without sadness and pain. It is now that you will again find joy in living.
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