5 Stages of Grief and Depression

5 Stages of Grief and Depression

Depression is a disorder which sometimes creeps in and you might not even become aware of it. Until it starts interfering with your life, you didn’t accept that it is a mental illness.

Occasionally feeling sad, having negative thoughts, state of grief is normal. But if it persists for long it should be checked.

A huge financial loss, the death of a dear person or the end of a relationship there may be various reasons for depression.  In most cases, a person suffers from depression for a limited time period and then he returns to his normal mental state.

But if the sadness persists and starts affecting every aspect of life eventually,it is called a disorder. Sometimes it becomes tough to discover one specific reason to explain your depression, and in spite of best efforts to ‘get over it,’ the depression continues for weeks and months.

If such feelings or mental disorder last for more than two weeks or has got recurrent episodes at several intervals within a year, it’s diagnosed as a major depressive disorder.  Depression may lead to suicidal thoughts if it persists so long and the level of the same is moderate to severe.


Are There Stages of Grief that leads to Depression?

Commonly there are five stages of grief that leads to depression. Before we discuss them it should be kept in mind that it is not compulsory that everyone should go through these stages in the same order or for the same set time period. People may skip the stages or oscillate between different stages.

1.Denial and Isolation.
Denial is first stage and reaction of grief that is usually temporary. The person goes into a denial mode for everything and loves isolation. The feelings of sadness experienced during this stage are difficult to ignore. Denial helps to cope the feelings of grief.

2. Anger.
In the second stage of grief, the person may start to feel angry. He becomes exasperated, ill-tempered. The thing is that a person goes through this angry stage because he sees no way of overcoming the feelings of grief or his inability to become normal. He gets grumpy and angry towards the world as he wonders why this had to happen to him.

3. Bargaining.
As the grief progressesit roots deeper. It makes a person feel horrible things about himself. He begins to engage himself in negotiations. He tries to stave off the thoughts brought on by the grief in favour of something more positive. Unfortunately, the negative thoughts invariably win out because the situation doesn’t change in minutes and make way for the next stage.

4. Depression.
Deep depressions make a person feel you’re lost in a forest of hopelessness with no way out. He starts feeling that he will never be happy again. During this stage of depression, he may have obsessive, debilitating thoughts. He cuts off from the world getting increasingly sad and alone day by day.

5. Acceptance.
When a person has reached this final stage, the symptoms become very obvious. He looks like a real sick man. It means he has come to accept the reality of his illness or loss. At this point, he is likely to realize that he needs help or see a therapist. He, in need of taking medications, and follow a treatment plan.


Symptoms of the Five Stages of Depression

You can see how closely the stages of grief are related to depression. Now let’s have a look at the five stages of depression. These stages are based on the symptoms of the depressive disorder.

However, it should be bear in mind that the actual experiences may vary from person to person. Some may experience all five stages, while others may skip steps entirely.

The following five stages beased on the symptoms of depression are:

1.Negative Thought Patterns.
Depression often starts with the arrival of negative thoughts. Negative thinking that is very difficult to dismiss and push back. These negative thoughts may be about appearance, work, or social status anything.

A person may find preoccupied with poverty, climate change, hopeless situation he will never get better off. He may face the worthlessness of life too.

2. Changes in Appetite.
There may be a change in appetite. Some people may experience lose in appetite. On the other hand, some may begin to eat more. They may become addicted to chocolates, ice cream, cakes, caffeinated drinks etc.

They may risk the development of an eating disorder or food addiction. Sometimes it is also seen that some people have no changes in appetite at all. So obviously it depends on the individual.

3. Changes in Sleep Patterns.
Like appetite changes, sleep patterns also varies from person to person. But almost everyone with depression experiences changes in sleep patterns.

The brain becomes heavy, engaged in negative thoughts; resultantly it looks for an escape.  This causes a change in the hormone levels, which may affect sleep patterns.
Some people experience insomnia because of the negative thoughts, worries, and stress that don’t let them sleep at all. As a result, they’re left feeling tired, fatigued, and lethargic all day.

On the other hand, some people feel so drained, so worn out that they have difficulty getting out of bed, they feel sleepy all day. Sleep becomes an escape from real-world for them.

4. Self-Blame.
A person might find him guilty. He may be blaming himself for things beyond his control. He may feel ashamed for being unable to keep up with his usual activities and responsibilities.

It turns out to be a vicious cycle. It produces the feeling of unworthiness, helplessness and feeling like a failure. As the symptoms grow, he sinks even lower into a deep depression.

 5. Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours.
Deep depression having the feeling of no escape leads to suicidal or self-harm behaviour or thoughts. Not everyone reaches this stage. When you’ve reached this stage where you have any negative thought related to suicide, you need to seek professional help immediately.

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