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Eliisabeth Kubler Ross Stages of Grief Model, 1969 Essay Sample 

The essay sample written below will discuss the five important stages of a person who is in grief due to the loss of a loved one.

This sample will also mention the symptoms of a person in grief, treatment provided to such person, and criticisms of Ross stages of grief model.

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A person who is in grief can be due to the loss of a loved one or about to lose someone, relationships, losing a pet, substance abuse, etc. Children grief over the divorce of parents or on loosing of parents due to death. A spouse may grief over the husband’s death and a teenager may show grief over the end of a romantic relationship.

Elisabeth Kubler Ross in her book “Death or Dying Person” had the first time discussed the stages of grief of a person in order.

The five stages of grief of a person are- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

Signs or symptoms of a person in grief 

A person who is in grief will show various physical and behavioral symptoms through which we can understand his state of mind. Such a person will remain crying, face sleeping disorder, get headaches, and chronic pain in the body.

He will question the purpose and aim of his life, start feeling worthless, emotional detachment from people, put himself in self-isolation and have guilt feelings.

Such a person may over worry, shows abnormalities, the sudden outburst of emotions, anger, loss of appetite, stress, anxiety, frustration and may question his own faith in god.

Five stages of Kubler Ross Grief Model 

Following are the five stages of Kubler Ross Grief Model which shows how a person in grief moves from one stage to another and how he evolves as a person after acceptance of his reality.

Though all the stages may vary from person to person and may not be applicable for every person in the same order. Some people may experience all the five stages while others may experience just two or even one.

Denial stage of a person in grief

The person in grief may first experience a state of shock or denial. He may not be ready to face and accept the reality of life that their loved one is gone forever. They are not able to accept the change in their life and believe that it is not true.

Example of Denial stage

If a person is diagnosed with cancer or any life altering disease. He may first not believe the reports and might claim his reports to be false.

Similarly, on death of a close person we may doubt ourself of having heard the wrong news. Acceptance of reality is not possible in this case as a person is staying in denial of the news of death.

Denial mode or stage might help a person in grief to cope up with this situation but not in the long run as he will have to accept the truth. This can be used as a defense mechanism. When the state of shock and denial is over then suppressed emotions start getting expressed.

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Anger stage of a person in grief 

During the natural course of our life, anger is considered to be bad for our health and needs to be managed. But after losing a loved one anger is seen as an effective method to deal with grief and stress.

A person might start blaming others for their loss and even blame themselves. They are angry with their situation and question their faith in God that ‘why they have been chosen to face this fate?’

This is a stage of letting go of the suppressed feelings and heal from the grief. Health cares professionals also believe that anger helps in healing the mind and soul of a person in grief.

Bargaining stage of the person in grief 

This is a very ineffective stage in the healing of a person from grief. In this situation, a person has false hopes and belief in getting back the lost person. He tries to negotiate with his situation unrealistically.

They try to exchange something in return for their loved one as they don’t realize that death is irreplaceable, inevitable and the ultimate truth of life. It can cause him further displeasure and guilt in his thoughts.

Example of Bargaining stage

Person who has lost his brother makes statement after his death. “I wish he didn’t go to that direction that day otherwise would have been alive now. Please god give me back my brother in exchange of anything! “

This is ineffective when trying to deal with stress and anxiety due to the situation.

Depression stage of the person in grief 

Here a person already starts realizing the actual reality of his life. On realizing his loss he gets into a severe phase of depression where he faces numbness and hollowness in him.

Depression makes him withdraw from life, emotional setback, and no willingness to get up from bed. He feels overburdened with life with a persistent feeling of hopelessness and unwillingness to live life. Some people get suicidal tendencies, lose purpose, and direction in life.

Acceptance stage of the person in grief

Here the person finally accepts his emotions and the reality of his life by making adjustments with situations and thoughts in life. He realizes that good and bad day’s are just a phase of life and is inevitable. He starts socializing with friends and family again and creates new relationships.

Example of acceptance stage

“I have lost my brother but i have to move on in my life as the life goes on and does not stop for anyone “.

It can be a positive statement from a person who have lost his brother and have accepted the reality.

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Treatment of a person dealing with grief

The person in grief can be medically cured and treated on the diagnosis of depression or any anxiety issues.

Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, sleeping pills are given to those people who are facing severe depression and can only be cured by medical intervention.

These medicines help them to carry on with their daily routine but is only good for short term goal as they will have to ultimately realize the truth.

Counseling sessions with counselors and psychiatrists could be an effective way of dealing with grief. They help the person to communicate their thoughts and help them to cope up with situations.

Criticisms of Kubler Ross Stages of Grief Model

  • There is no evidentiary proof to show that how people evolved from one stage of grief to another. Their actions and experiences have not been discussed elaborately in this model.
  • No practical demonstration of these stages for better understanding.
  • There is no proof that every person goes through the same stages and experience who have lost their loved one.
  • There are no practical solutions given for helping people to cope up with stressful situations. It does not cover the positive aspect.

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The sample essay above highlights the Grief Model of Kubler Ross, stages and its relevancy. This essay will help primarily Psychology and Healthcare students.

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