Five stages following grief and loss

Posted on June 2, 2018

Bereavement is accompanied by 5 stages, which that are order-unspecific, namely: (1) Denial and Isolation, (2) Anger, (3) Bargaining, (4) Depression and (5) Acceptance. These 5 stages are a result of normal grief, and they originated from the book "On Death and Dying" by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. It is also possible for a bidirectional transition between stages.

Shifting between these stages are important in overcoming grief, before reaching the acceptance of the death of a loved one.

Expression of grief also varies between individuals, thus, listeners should maintain a neutral stance when presented with another person's points of view.

Stage 1 of denial and isolation occurs right after the death of a loved one happens, as it is a defense mechanism to handle the emotions brought about by the unexpected passing.

Stage 2 of Anger happens when we find fault with people as a consequence of venting our frustrations due to this unexpected life changing event.

Stage 3 of Bargaining is akin to hindsight bias, where thoughts beginning with "what if" and "i should have" start to emerge. "What if he sought treatment earlier? Could his death have been avoided?"

Stage 4 of Depression does not apply to everyone, as not everyone who experiences bereavement will develop depression. More information on Bereavement-Triggered Depression can be found on:

Stage 5 of Acceptance occurs when we regain composure and view the death of our loved one as something inevitable and irreversible.

Category(s):Coping with Medical Problems, Grief, Loss, Bereavement

Source material from Psych Central

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