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How to Deal With Grief and Loss Amidst a Global Pandemic

Experiencing grief and loss are an inevitable part of life. And more people may have to go through the process of getting over these feelings as the coronavirus continues to claim lives all over the world at such a fast rate.

Experts also say that some may go through the process of dealing with grief due to other significant changes in their life such as the loss of employment or a relationship.

Here everything a person needs to know about how to deal with grief and how to know when to seek professional help for it.

The Five Stages

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It’s normal to feel anger or rage as you come to terms with losing something important in your life

Mental health professionals typically work with a five-stage framework when dealing with people in the grieving process. These stages were observed in the late ‘60s by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

The process includes denial (the refusal to accept or believe the situation), anger (thinking of how unfair things are), bargaining (trying to control something that is beyond control), depression, and acceptance (finally coming to terms with the loss or grief).

It’s important to remember though that this is not a linear process and people may go through the five stages in different ways. Some may even experience things as a cycle and find themselves at certain stages multiple times during their journey.

Strategies to Process Grief

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There’s no shame in reaching out to trusted friends or family members for help

The good news is that although people go through the stages in various ways there are some proven ways that help them process their grief. For starters, one should learn to acknowledge the fact that they are indeed dealing with loss.

As mental health experts put it, putting a subconscious feeling to the conscious can be like turning the light on in a dark room. Once one has started facing their grief, they should then try to share their feelings with other people.

After all, grief can be a feeling that’s too heavy to carry on one’s own. Another helpful technique that healthcare professionals recommend is relying on rituals whether they be religious or those they have come up with by themselves.

When to Seek Professional Help

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Some experts have added a sixth stage to the grief process: finding meaning

Not everyone may need to seek professional help for their grief. However, there are cases when one would have to do so, especially when they start turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms and behaviors as they grieve.

Those experiencing anxiety and depression due to a devastating loss may also want to consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor for support. These are tell-tale signs of complicated grief, something that typically requires professional attention.

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