Generally, MDD is caused by the occurrence of a traumatic event (such as the death of a loved one), genetics, abuse, a big change, a serious illness, drugs or alcohol, or certain medications. As we talked in the grief issue, there is a stage of depression that people go through. If one’s parents, siblings, grandparents, or other immediate relatives have experienced a form of major depression, one is more likely to go through it.
Our thoughts are with all of those were affected by the bombings at Boston Marathon.
The Courage for Tomorrow Team
The 5 Stages of Grief
Death is inevitable. At some point in their lives, everyone dies, leaving their loved ones behind to grieve. Grief is an extremely complex process that has no boundaries; one cannot grieve too much or too little. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. What I will be discussing are the typical feelings that people experience in their time of grief.
Disbelief (Denial): The most immediate reaction to a death is shock. This is the way that the body and mind protects itself. If you don’t let yourself believe the death has actually happened, than you do not hurt as much. During the time this takes place, a grieving person expects to see the one who has passed in places he or she normally was.
However, the realization of the loss of a loved one is important. Once a person realizes the death, he or she can start to grieve. A person must know that the loved one is truly gone and there is nothing that can bring them back. This knowledge puts the grieving person one step closer to recovery.
- You don’t have to grieve alone. In the period of denial, find family or friends who will stay with you to ease your overwhelming emotions.
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed to cry.
Anger: The next stage is anger. There are many people to place blame in for grieving people. First, the loved one who died might be on the receiving end of that anger. A person in grief can be mad at the loved one for leaving them. This is absolutely normal. Do not be afraid to be angry. Next, the grieving person might feel anger toward his or her friends or family. He or she might blame them for not helping the passed one, for not taking better care of him or her. Additional blame could be put on the doctors or nurse (if applicable) for the same reasons. The deity or deities of the person who is grieving may also be the subject of anger. They might be blamed for not using their powers to save the one who has passed. Finally, the one who is grieving turns that anger on themself. They blame themselves for not taking enough action, for not being friendlier toward the loved one, for not saying a proper goodbye, and so on and so forth.
- It is okay to be angry. It is bad to keep your emotions locked inside of you.
- Try not to take your anger out on your friends and family. You will just regret it later.
- Also, try not to take your anger out in an unhealthy way (such as fights). Put it to good use; go whack at a punching bag, scream whatever you want in a field somewhere, or play a sport. Being active or letting out your emotions will help you feel much better.
- Remember, breathe. This anger will pass.
Bargaining: The third stage of grief is bargaining. This is the time when a person starts asking “What if…” and “If only…” They begin to think that they could have saved the one who has died in some way. They start bargaining with their god (if they worship one): “I promise that I will be a better person if you just bring ___ back.” “I will never yell again if ____ could live.” They torment themselves with moot possibilities. “If only I had taken him to the hospital sooner, then he might have lived.” “If I had taken out the trash more instead of him, he might have lived.” “What if I had made her take vitamins? Would she have lived?” The grieving person questions tons of actions that they participated in with the one who has died, wondering if they could have changed it in any way. They wonder if they could have saved the person they are grieving. This is a time of immense guilt.
- There was nothing that you could do.
- You cannot change the past.
- It is okay to feel guilty and regret, as it is just another part of the process. It is normal.
- However, it is never okay to hurt yourself because of that guilt or regret. It is not okay to feel those emotions to the extent that you want to hurt. If you begin to feel this way, get help immediately, from a counselor, a friend, a family member, or even a hotline counselor.
- Most importantly, it was not your fault.