A Look at the psychology of bereavement

By admin / June 16, 2007
By: Linda Torrey
Category: Grief

Bereavement is the state people experience when someone or something they love tremendously, is taken away. Humans, as varied as we are, experience and react to loss differently. Most of the time, the first reaction is crying while for others it is not. It may take a period of months, even years for some to overcome the grief of loss while it does not take as long for others. Dealing with it, which is accepting the fact that you suffered a huge loss is unpleasant and most people live in denial. Over time, people do manage to overcome the pain and grief of loss. However, it takes time. Researchers say one person's reaction to loss may not be similar to the other person's as it depends on the individual's personality, family, culture, and spiritual and religious beliefs and practices. A popular theory is the Kübler-Ross model, where Elisabeth Kübler-Ross describes five stages of grief which are most common. The stages are: * Denial. 2. Anger. 3. Bargaining. 4. Depression. & 5. Acceptance. These aforementioned reactions do affect a person's behaviour and well-being. Commonly bereavement affects us with: * Sleeplessness. * Appetite Loss. * Restlessness. * Exertion. * Preoccupation. * Anxiousness and panic. * Inability to resume normal duties. * Lack of interest. * Irritability. * Tearfulness. * Physical side-effects. Individuals suffer different types of loss. They are: childhood bereavement, death of a child(considered by most to be the most devastatingly painful form of bereavement), death of a spouse, death of a parent, death of a sibling (as the saying goes, "if you have lost your parents, you have lost your past; if you have lost your children, you have lost your future; if you have lost your spouse, you have lost your present; and if you have lost your sibling, then you have lost a part of your past, present and future"), loss of children through divorce or kidnapping and other losses (examples include the end of a romantic relationship (i.e. divorce or break up), a vocation, a pet (animal loss), a home, children leaving home (empty nest), a friend, a favored appointment or desire, etc). Recovery is possible through patience and many ways of coping. Such as : * Ask for help. First, accept that you are hurt and need help. * Discuss it with someone responsible and helpful. Find someone trustful, a parent, a sibling,a professional, a pet or even God. * Use art to express feelings. Very cathartic and helpful. * Maintain some pleasant mementos of the person or thing you lost. * Exercise. A great way to release pent up anger. * Listen to music. Any kind of music as long as it calms you. * Take care. Don't seek escapism that will be even more detrimental to your well-being, like drugs or alcohol. Instead, fuss over yourself and treat yourself well. * Trust your own self. Accept and trust your feelings knowing that it is alright to feel so. * Take time to heal. * Enjoy each moment. Be grateful for being alive and surviving grief. Talk to family, someone close or even professional help but do take help. Finally, remember and acknowledge that you have gone through immense loss and with time, the scars will go but more important than that is realizing that time alone is no good, its making an effort to move on as a survivor a fighter.

Article Source: A Look at the psychology of bereavement
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