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All of us have experienced grief at some point in our lives. Though it is a universal emotion, most of us rarely know that there are many types of grief. Another misunderstanding about this emotion is that people have certain notions as to how it should be experienced. What is crucial to understand is that everyone grieves in different ways, and it is okay if your feelings of grief are not the same as others.
Grief, in general, is a powerful emotion for a loss in life. It can be experienced as the result of the death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, job, home, sense of freedom, and much more. In brief, grief is experienced on the loss of anything with which, we had a good emotional connection.
Though grief may feel like an obstacle know that it is a natural part of the process and it must be experienced to get used to the new situation.
The many types of grief are:
Normal grief is what people think grief is supposed to be. It is the course towards the acceptance of the loss and the gradual lessening of the symptoms. One continues to carry out their everyday life activities despite being in grief.
With normal grief, it may seem to others that the person is not affected by it, but under the surface, they may go through emotions of pain and numbness.
Anticipatory grief happens when we experience a death which we were able to anticipate. It is possible to start feeling grief even before the loss has taken place, for example, when a loved one has a long term illness.
It is a complex emotion, as seeing your loved one suffer and then finally letting them go may give you relief, which in turn can cause feelings of guiltiness.
The feelings in complicated grief are so overwhelming and long-lasting that it impairs one’s ability to engage in everyday life activities. There are no sudden episodes of intense grief, but rather a constant feeling which makes the griever feel trapped.
Some common symptoms of complicated grief include low self-esteem, persistent feelings of guilt, suicidal thoughts, and self-destructive behaviour.
Delayed grief is when the symptoms are experienced late than typical, after the death of a loved one. The griever usually tends to suppress the emotions by avoiding reality.
This grief tends to happen when the loss of a loved one happens, with some other significant change such as added life responsibilities, loss of a job or home, or anything else.
Disenfranchised grief is experienced when someone goes through a loss, but others(society, culture) does not acknowledge or validate it. The loss may be regarded as not worthy of grief, which can cause the griever to feel that no one understands them.
It can happen after losing a pet, a non-family member, or a part of ourselves(such as a body part). Society may also disregard it if the death occurs due to a stigma or the relationship is seen as insignificant.
The intensification of the normal grief responses leads to exaggerated grief. As time moves on, this form of emotion may worsen, causing suicidal thoughts, self-destructive behaviour, drug abuse, and abnormal fears.
Inhibited grief happens when someone does not face the reality of losing something by outwardly showing no signs of symptoms. They keep the emotions private.
Over some time, inhibited grief can cause physical symptoms like migraines, nausea, digestive problems, and much more.
8.Secondary loss in Grief
A particular loss can impact many areas of one’s life. The emotions of secondary loss are caused due to the further losses, that occur due to losing a person(primary loss).
Absent grief is an intense version of inhibited grief where the affected shows no symptoms and acts as if nothing has happened. If experienced over a certain period, this form of grief can be concerning.
It is necessary to understand that just because there are no symptoms of grief doesn’t mean they aren’t experiencing grief.
Being a human, we face many situations in our daily lives. If we understand the different forms of grief, it will be a better situation for us and others living with us. Taking care of our mental health is crucial to living a happy life. There are many professional therapists, funeral homes, and cremation services in Bangalore that offer grief specific counselling so that you can cope with it in the right way. If situations feel unbearable, consider taking such help.