I’M STUDYING PSYCHOLOGY. IT MAKES ME UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO. I’M GONNA LET YOU IN ON A LITTLE SECRET. IT’S NOT SO COMPLICATED. WE’RE ALL HUMANS.
– LADIES AND GENTLEMEN I PRESENT TO YOU –
T H E F I V E S T A G E S O F G R I E F
4. Depression baby
5. Acceptance baby
”The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as The Five Stages of Grief, is a hypothesis first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, which was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. Kübler-Ross was inspired by the lack of curriculum in medical schools that addressed death and dying, so she started a project about death when she became an instructor at the University of Chicago medical school. Her work revolutionized how the medical field took care of the terminally ill. Her five stages of grief have now become widely accepted.
Kübler-Ross added that these stages are not meant to be complete or chronological. Her hypothesis also holds that not everyone who experiences a life-threatening or life-altering event feels all five of the responses nor will everyone who does experience them do so in any particular order. The hypothesis is that the reactions to illness, death, and loss are as unique as the person experiencing them.
The stages, popularly known by the acronym DABDA, include:
1. Denial — ”I feel fine.”; ”This can’t be happening, not to me.”
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death. Denial can be conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the situation. Denial is a defense mechanism and some people can become locked in this stage.
2. Anger — ”Why me? It’s not fair!”; ”How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, and especially those who are close to them. It is important to remain detached and nonjudgmental when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.
3. Bargaining — ”I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; ”I will give my life
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying,
”I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…” People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example ”Can we still be friends?..” when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it’s a matter of life or death.
4. Depression — ”I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; ”I’m going to die soon so what’s the point?”; ”I miss my loved one, why go on?”
During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. Depression could be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the ‘aftermath’. It is a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation.
5. Acceptance — ”It’s going to be okay.”; ”I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”
In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. This stage varies according to the person’s situation. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.
Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness. She later expanded this theoretical model to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss (job, income, freedom). Such losses may also include significant life events such as the death of a loved one, major rejection, end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, change in office environment, studying for and taking the bar exam, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, as well as many tragedies and disasters.”
LIFE GOES ON.
IT WILL GET BETTER.
ISABEL W. SÖRENSEN