Insight From Therapists in Naperville, IL: The Stages of Grief and Their Impact on Mental Health

Grief is a deeply personal experience that affects everyone differently. However, it typically presents in specific ways, which is how mental health providers like the therapists at Natural Motivations in Naperville, Illinois, can identify it and help through grief and bereavement therapy. Explore grief and how it affects your mental health below.

Understanding the Stages of Grief

Grief typically unfolds in stages, although not everyone will experience them all or in the same order. Here’s a look at the five main stages and their potential impact:

  • Denial – This temporary defense mechanism buffers the immediate shock, allowing someone to cope with overwhelming emotions.
  • Anger – As the masking effects of denial wear off, reality brings pain. Many individuals redirect pain through anger at other people, the world, themselves, or even the deceased.
  • Bargaining – During this stage, individuals may dwell on what could have been done to prevent the loss. Persistent negative thoughts and self-blame are not uncommon.
  • Depression – Feelings of emptiness and sadness begin as the individual at last confronts the extent of the loss and its impact on their life. This stage is a normal part of grieving, not a sign of mental illness.
  • Acceptance – This final stage involves coming to terms with the reality of the loss. It does not imply happiness but rather a psychological adjustment to the new reality.

Without proper support and the use of coping mechanisms, prolonged grief can lead to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Therapy offers a vital space for individuals to process their grief under the guidance of a professional.

Begin Your Healing Journey in Naperville

At Natural Motivations in Naperville, we recognize the impact that grief can have on mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling, grief and bereavement therapy is the answer. Reach out today to get help as you navigate your bereavement journey!