5 Stages of Grief is a model that is detailed in the book “On Death and Dying” by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. The author observed that terminally ill (such as late-stage cancer) patients go through an emotionful model. The 5 stages are:
Multiple Sclerosis MS patients may be experiencing a similar experience…
5 Stages of Grief Begins, Denial
Firstly, it starts with the diagnosis. We think that the diagnosis is wrong. Therefore, we take action. Most likely we go to different health professionals. We believe that the first diagnosis may be wrong. We desperately want to escape reality.
Author Experience: Getting the diagnosis at 3 different health professionals.
When we can’t deny reality anymore, it creates anger. We start asking questions to ourselves such as “Why me?“, “Why did it happen?”, “Why?”
From my personal experience, the sooner you end the anger stage, the better for your health. It is the most important stage after your diagnosis. In general, science not yet proven the connection between stress and MS. The anger stage is full of stress. Therefore, it is the best time for getting professional help and trust them.
Author Experience: Lots of whys and getting professional help as my neurologist recommended.
Once you are a little bit away from your anger, an interesting stage of bargaining starts. To recover from the situation you start bargaining with yourself and sometimes god. For instance, “I will fix my diet, “I’m going to start gym”, “I will stay away from stress” and similar things to soothe your anger. I believe it is some kind of survival instinct.
More surprisingly, religion and belief may be a factor in the bargaining stage. You may be more faithful and bargain with god. With such bargains, you go away from your anger and somewhat become happier.
Author Experience: Lots of self-bargaining and believing more in god.
It is frequently observed in terminally ill patients. When you have a limited time after your diagnosis, you may realize that bargaining does not mean anything. In summary, you ask yourself “I am going to die soon, why such effort?” and that creates depression.
Since MS is not a terminal disease, we have much less such kind of fear and depression. Instead of fear of death, we fear being disabled. If you have started getting help from health professionals, you will deal with the depression stage much easier.
Author Experience: Being distanced from others, continuing sessions with my psychiatrist.
It is the latest stage of the model when we decide to take matters into our hands and accept everything as it is. You become a much more positive person and start thinking logically. Unlike terminally ill patients, we have lots of things to do.
It is the time that you listen to your body and your soul, discovering MS and researching it. Now you are with another person and starting a journey together. Being in the 21st century, reaching for information is easier than ever. However, you need to be cautious with information. You must do your researches with trustworthy sources. Trust health professionals and do your own research.
Author Experience: Joining thisisms.com Community. It is one of the best decisions that I have made. Lots of scientific papers, clinical trials, forums reading.
5 Stages of Grief in Summary
Unfortunately, we experience some tough times within the 5 stages of grief. It mostly depends on ourselves. You need to wish and take action for becoming better. Because of that, you must stand, calm down, get help and start your journey. MS is not a terminal disease and life is good.