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Understanding Grief and Loss

Everyone has experienced grief at least once in their lifetime. Adapting to the loss of someone important in your life is extremely distressing and one of the biggest challenges anyone faces in their life. When we lose something that is important to us, the pain we experience is often overwhelming and takes a huge toll on us. We experience a variety of emotions. Looking for the best psychologist in Dubai, Sharjah, or Abu Dhabi

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Grief is the natural response that people have towards loss. Following a loss of great significance including but not limited to the death of spouse or child, divorce, loss of farm, a person normally moves through a period of acute emotional pain. As time moves, the person moves from this period of acute emotional pain to a more comfortable emotional state. This shift through a series of stages is what is known as the grief process. In grief, there exists no timetable. It can take weeks for some and years for others to complete the process. There is a general misconception regarding grief, that individuals experience grief only when they experience a loss along the lines of death, divorce, traumatic experience etc. However, it should be noted that even subtle losses in life can cause a sense of grief. An example of this would be grief experienced when moving away from home. Another misconception about grief is that if a person doesn’t cry, that means they're not sorry about the loss. Crying is a normal response to sadness. However, it is important to note that it is not the only response to sadness. Just because a person does not cry while they're grieving does not mean that they are not experiencing pain. Individuals who do not cry also feel just as deeply as others.

Another major misconception about grief is that moving on with your life means forgetting about the loss. This is not true. Rather, moving on means that you've accepted your loss. It is not the same as forgetting. A person can move on with their life and at the same time keep the memory of someone or something that the person lost.

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Grief has been defined as having five stages. They just deny where the person denies the reality “This cannot be happening to me”. The second stage of grief is anger. The third stage of grief is bargaining. The person bargains and makes offers “I’ll start helping others often, so please make this not happen”. The fourth stage of grief is depression and the final stage of grief is acceptance, where they're finally at peace with what happened.

You do not necessarily go through each of the stages that have been mentioned above. These stages are not rigidly set up through which all people go through. The proponent of the stages of grief is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross said “there is no typical response to loss as there is no typical loss.” This means that as unique and different each person is, grief also has differences.

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Some of the emotional symptoms of grief are:

  1. Shock and disbelief. As right after a loss, it is hard for people to accept what has happened, so you may feel numb and have trouble believing what has happened.

  2. Sadness. Intense sadness is probably the most universally experienced symptom of the process of grief. People may experience feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness.

  3. Guilt is also a common response to grief. People may start thinking about what they did and didn't do or say.

  4. Anger is another symptom of grief. Even though the loss may not have been anybody’s fault, people may feel angry and resentful.

  5. Fear. A significant loss can cause feelings of worry and fear.

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Physical symptoms of grief may include fatigue, nausea, reduced immunity, aches and pains.

How can you help yourself?

  1. Accept your emotions.

  2. Express your feelings.

  3. Do not expect miracles to happen overnight. Give yourself some time to process everything.

  4. Do not escape into loneliness and withdraw.

  5. Keep in touch with your loved ones.

  6. Join a support group or go for therapy to help you along the process.Therapy for grief or grief counseling is available here at Kaizen Wellbeing where we have a team of psychologists in Dubai and therapists in Dubai prepared and qualified to help you get through and make sense of your grief.

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The one thing to always remember is to be tolerant of your emotions and be patient with yourself. Staying kind to you while you are in the process of grieving is also important.

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Kaizen Wellbeing is an online therapy platform in Dubai, UAE that caters to South Asian community. There is a dearth of good therapy establishments that accommodate the mental health needs of the brown community. We aim to bridge that gap by providing you quality and affordable care by qualified and warm therapists. Reach out at or +971 50 961 8796 and book your first session towards understanding yourself and other’s better.

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If you have any queries please put them down in the comments section and we will try our best to answer them and help you out.

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