Feeling Off? You Might Be Grieving

woman looking out through window - Feeling Off? You Might Be Grieving. Article by The Therapy Centre | Counselling and Psychological Services in Oakville and Hamilton

Feeling Off? You Might Be Grieving

Our world has drastically changed in a very short time, leaving us with little opportunity to process our feelings. It’s completely normal to feel like something is wrong without understanding what it is, but if you can name something, it is often possible to work through it. According to David Kessler and Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, co-authors of On Grief & Grieving, that emotion that you are feeling may be grief.

In their book, Kübler-Ross and Kessler provided us with a listing and explanation of the five common stages of grief. These stages vary, don’t always happen in any particular order, and might be skipped entirely, but they are considered to be the basics of the grieving process.

Denial

Denial is a method of self-preservation. In this stage people often express disbelief and resist the facts of the situation.
During this stage you may be thinking or hearing:
• This virus won’t affect us.
• This whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

Anger

Anger is an attempt to gain control over our fears. We turn hostile, blame others, engage in power struggles and sometimes refuse to comply with the rules.
You may be thinking or hearing:
• You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities.
• I’m bored and I’m having some friends over.

Bargaining

Bargaining occurs when we start to acknowledge reality but we’re not ready to give up control. Basically, we try to compromise to find an easier, less painful way out.
You may be thinking or hearing:
• It’s OK to spend time with others as long as they wash their hands before they see me.
• Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right?

Sadness

Sadness occurs when we begin to feel that we have no control. There is a sense of hopelessness and despair that things will never get better.
You may be thinking or hearing:
• I can’t go to work, I can’t earn money. Pretty soon, I’ll be broke and homeless.
• What’s the use when we are all going to get the virus anyway?

Acceptance

Acceptance occurs when we finally acknowledge and surrender to the facts. We begin to understand our circumstances and learn to do our best with the resources available to us.
This stage may feel or sound like:
• I can’t control the pandemic, but I can do my part by sheltering in place, washing my hands, and staying positive.
• The fact that I can’t leave my house doesn’t mean my life has to stop.

Do you need help dealing with grief during COVID-19?

The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may arise from the COVID-19 situation including fears, health anxiety, how to manage uncertainty and how to increase ones tolerance for the unknown.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.

Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.

Sources:

https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/202003/covid-19-and-the-grief-process
https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-anticipatory-grief-may-show-up-during-the-covid-19-outbreak
https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/04/grief-covid-19
https://www.prdaily.com/how-to-identify-the-stages-of-grief-in-covid-19-messages/

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