The loss caused by grief depends on the type of problem associated with each case.
Grief is one of the hardest experiences a human being can go through in his life. Although many people associate it with death, this phenomenon can also occur when our hearts are broken or when we lose a job after many years in the same position; it occurs, in general, in situations in which something happens that we interpret as a loss.
Without a doubt, overcoming the duel is complicated, so the person must go through a series of stages to be well again. It is a very painful experience and each individual has a personal way of living it. Likewise, there are several types of grief, so it is difficult to talk about a sequence of actions to be carried out to assimilate this experience in the best possible way. In this article we delve into the different kinds of grief and their characteristics.
The 5 phases of mourning
Over the years, some theories have emerged about the phases through which a person goes through a period of mourning. One of the best known is that of the psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, published in 1969 in the book On death and dying .
His idea is based on the fact that there are 5 stages of grief. However, these five phases do not always occur with the same placement and sequentially, that is, not all people in the grieving phase have to go through the 5 stages. Furthermore, when they go through them they do not have to always appear in the same order.
According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s theory, the stages of grief are:
The first of the phases is denial, characterized by the fact that the person does not accept reality (consciously or unconsciously). This occurs as a defense mechanism and is perfectly normal. In this way, the individual reduces the anxiety of the moment.
The real problem occurs when people get stuck in this stage by not being able to cope with traumatic change, so they ignore it as a defensive response. The death of a loved one, of course, is not particularly easy to avoid and cannot be avoided indefinitely.
2. Anger or anger
Sadness can lead a person to suffer anger and rage and to seek blame. This anger can manifest itself in different ways, blaming yourself or blaming others, and it can be projected against animals and objects.
3 – Negotiation
In this stage, the pain leads to the search for a fictitious negotiation. In fact, many people who face death try to negotiate even with a divine force.
Other people, those with minor trauma, may carry out other negotiations or compromises. For example “Can we still be friends?” or “I will accomplish this for you.” Negotiation rarely provides a sustainable solution, but it can reduce the pain of the moment.
4 – Depression
The impact of the loss of someone close can lead a person to a very painful situation, which is accompanied by enormous sadness and an existential crisis, when realizing that that person disappears from their life. Although the symptoms resemble depressive disorder, once acceptance of the situation occurs, the symptoms remit.
5 – Acceptance
This stage happens when this painful situation has been accepted and it depends on the resources of each one to accept it sooner or later. It is not a stage that represents joy, but rather emotional detachment and understanding of what may have happened. If the person spends a long time in the grieving process and does not accept the situation, it is necessary to seek psychological help to overcome it.
Types of losses
Since the stage of grief does not necessarily have to occur due to the loss of a loved one, before moving on to the types of grief we will move on to the different types of losses that can occur :
- Relational losses : They have to do with the losses of people. That is, separations, divorce, death of loved ones, etc.
- Loss of abilities : Occurs when an individual loses physical and / or mental abilities. For example, by an amputation of a limb.
- Material losses : It occurs before the loss of objects, possessions and, ultimately, material losses.
- Evolutionary losses : These are the changes in the stages of life: old age, retirement, etc. Not everyone fits this situation the same.
Not all losses generate grief, however, depending on the resources or other psychological variables (such as self-esteem or lack of social skills) of each, the losses can cause discomfort and suffering for more or less time.
Types of duel
What types of grief are there? Below you can find the different types of duel.
1. Anticipated grief
Anticipated grief is one that occurs before death has occurred. It is common when a disease that has no cure is diagnosed. The grieving process is the usual one, where the person experiences various anticipatory feelings and emotions that will prepare him emotionally and intellectually for the inevitable loss.
Anticipated grieving is a prolonged grieving process, not as acute as the rest, since when death comes it is often experienced, in part, as calming.
2. Unresolved grief
Unresolved grief, as the name suggests, means that the grief phase is still present. However, the type of grief that happens when a certain time (between 18 and 24 months) has passed and it has not yet been overcome is usually called this way.
3. Chronic grief
Chronic grief is also a kind of unresolved grief that does not resolve over time and lasts for years. It is also called pathological grief or complicated grief.
Pathological grief can occur when the person is unable to stop reliving the events related to death in a detailed and vivid way, and everything that happens reminds them of that experience.
4. Absent grief
This type of grief refers to when the person denies that the events have occurred. Therefore, it is the stage of denial that we have talked about previously, in which the individual continues to avoid reality despite having spent a long time. That is, the person has been stuck in this phase because they do not want to face the situation.
5. Delayed grief
It is similar to a normal duel, with the difference that it starts after a while. It is usually part of the absent duel, and is also called a frozen duel. It usually appears in people who control their emotions excessively and are apparently strong. For example, a person who has children and must be shown whole.
Delayed grief usually occurs when the person who suffers it, at first, must take care of many things that require his immediate attention, such as caring for a family.
6. Inhibited duel
Inhibited grief occurs when there is a difficulty in expressing feelings, so the person avoids the pain of loss. It is usually associated with somatic complaints. The limitations of the individual’s personality prevent him from crying or expressing grief. Unlike the absent duel, it is not a defense mechanism.
7. Unauthorized Duel
This type of grief occurs when the environment around the person does not accept the grief of the person. For example, when after a long time the family reproaches the person for continuing to grieve. She represses her feelings towards the family, but internally she has not overcome it.
Many times, this type of grief occurs when the person who died or left forever was associated with a stigma and was excluded, at least for the close environment of the person who suffers it (for example, his family). Expressing grief can become a symbolic act that subverts certain political and social ideas. For example, if the absent person was someone’s homosexual partner and the family does not approve of this type of relationship.
8. Distorted grief
Distorted grief manifests itself as a strong disproportionate reaction to the situation. It usually occurs when the person has already experienced a previous grief and is facing a new grief situation.
For example, he may have experienced the death of a father, and when an uncle dies, he also relives the death of his father, leading to a much more intense, painful, and disabling situation.
- Vertex Team (2010). Grief and funeral care. Editorial Verticebook.
- Payás Puigarnau, Alba. The tasks of mourning. Grief psychotherapy from an integrative-relational model. Madrid: Paidós, 2010. ISBN 9788449324239.
- Worden, William J. Treating Grief: Counseling and Therapy. Barcelona: Paidós, 2004.ISBN 9788449316562.