Are There Different Types of Grief? All You Need to Know

It should come as no surprise that not everyone grieves the same way. People respond to grief differently and on varying levels. Grief does not only come from losing someone special or close. Grief is an emotion that can be felt even when you go through the tiniest bit of pain. For example, the feeling you have when you stop living with your college roommate or when you lose your job or even when you come home to find out that last slice of pizza you’ve been looking forward to all day has been eaten by somebody else-- you’re feeling grief.

But of course, this grief isn’t the same as the one you feel when you undergo any major loss in life such as losing a loved one, but it is grief, nonetheless.

In this article we are going to make an effort to impart knowledge of the diverse types and degrees of grief on our readers.

Complicated Grief -  Yes, there is a type of grief called Complicated Grief, a term coined by medical professionals. Complicated Grief happens when painful emotions are so long lasting and severe that you have trouble recovering from the loss, rending you unable to accept the death of a loved one and such feelings of intense sadness can last for years. Complicated grief makes it nearly impossible to resume your normal life. It is also known as traumatic or prolonged grief, and it is a diagnosis you can receive from a medical professional.

This sort of grief is so serious that it can make people feel depressed to the point where they can begin to feel suicidal. Often times, these two feelings are so strong and similar that the lines begin to blur. In such cases it is important to seek medical attention or therapy from a professional.

Normal Grief -  Fortunately, not every type of grief lasts for years; some are only here for a season or two and make their way out of our lives gradually. Normal Grief can last anywhere between 6 months to 2 years and is usually caused by the loss of someone very close to you. This loss can be in the form of death or a severed relationship which are equally hurtful. Some may say that one hurts more than the other but a severed relationship causes the brain to feel the same type of trauma as the death of a loved one, thereby, the same amount of stress and anxiety accompanying the pain of losing a loved one.

Although Normal Grief lasts up to 2 years, many studies have pointed towards a more subjective result. People have been known to grieve the loss of a dear loved one up to 3 years and some have said that their mourning process has stopped after the first 18 months. Although there is a number on how long Normal Grief lasts, it is subjective to life experiences and can differ from person to person.


Normal Grief


Anticipation Grief -  As the name suggests, this type of grief sets in when you are in anticipation of something that cannot be ignored or undone. Anticipation or Anticipatory Grief is usually felt when you know someone you love is suffering from a terminal illness or when your pet gets really sick and you know that their days are numbered.

Since you were already prepared and were in anticipation of the same, having some sort of cremation jewelry (such as bracelets or pendants for ashes ), can help ease the pain of loss when it happens. Nothing can completely eradicate the pain of losing a loved one but knowing that they are with you at all times, can bring some comfort.

Distorted Grief -  We all know that there are 5 major stages of grief – denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Distorted grief happens when your emotions are so distorted or scattered that they get stuck in one of the above stages of grief, usually in anger. Distorted Grief is a form of complicated grief which has a way of manifesting itself through extreme behavioral changes in the form if anger. You may experience intense feelings of guilt, anger, hostility towards people or even yourself and indulge in self-destructive behaviors. It is common to see extreme, intense, or atypical reactions in this form of grief and is best to seek out medical attention.

Masked Grief -  Probably one of the most common forms of grief but we wouldn’t quite know the exact figures due to the sheer nature of the grief. Masked grief happens when a person feels grief very deeply within his/herself but is forced to mask it due to various reasons. Such reasons can be pressure from society, work pressure or any other kind of compulsion disallowing the person from displaying their emotions and thereby masking it from themselves and other people.


Masked Grief


Such a form of grief is also common when people are forced to hide their emotions or pain of losing someone they love when society might frown upon their relationship and they are forced to save face. Medical professionals have declared this as one of the unhealthiest and damaging forms of grief as the person becomes numb to their feelings which can lead to many kinds of mental illnesses down the line.

We understand the importance of appropriately displaying your emotions from the loss of a loved one and all of our efforts are directed in helping you do so. 

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