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Citizen Voices

Mental Health: Dealing With Negative Thoughts And Bereavement

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At some point in life, you see that someone is feeling depressed or perhaps you might also feel the same way. Like having no interest in life activities, hobbies, or even in work. A person feels extreme sadness, hopelessness, and this sadness may be for days or weeks or even years. Then this is referred to as clinical depression.

Most of our thoughts are negative and repetitive by nature which distracts our mind and sometimes you might feel distracted during an important meeting or discussion or in gatherings with family and friends. Your friend is telling you what happened to him the other day and you suddenly catch yourself thinking that you missed an important chunk what your friend was saying or when you are reading a book you realize that you forgot a whole page and you start reading it again.

These negative thoughts can be treated with some techniques such as avoidance, suppression, replacement with positive thoughts but these may often don’t work. These techniques may help in the short run but then again you feel entangled in negative thoughts. According to the well-known writer, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, it was identified that we have five stages of grief. These may be applied to anyone, any country or culture, or any religion. Grief comes as the result of the death of loved ones, loss of someone in relationships, breakup, or perhaps when you failed in achieving something.

The first stage of grief is called ‘DENIAL’. In this stage, a person is unable to accept what just happened. This usually happens when any tragic event occurs – like an accident – and a person can’t believe that his beloved one is no more. This may be applied in relationships when there is no way to communicate with your love or he/she might disappear. The second stage is ‘’ANGER’. In this stage, a person feels anger towards anyone or anything such as ‘how dare you, ‘I can’t believe you could do that to me’ etc. This may be applied to any relationship, in cases such as separation. The third stage is called ‘BARGAINING’. In this stage, a person may be saying: ‘I will do anything to have that person…I will leave bad habits or drug abuse. I just want to have that person come back in my life’. The fourth stage of grief is ‘DEPRESSION’. It lasts for days, weeks, months, or even years. In this stage, a person feels extreme sadness and hopelessness. The people try to accept that what happened to them was inevitable but still they are unable to cope with and move on. They are unable to feel joy in anything. They feel difficulty in sleeping and loss of appetite. The last stage is ‘ACCEPTANCE’. In this stage, people accept what happened to them. They realize that they will still feel sad but they need to move on in their life.

These stages of grief don’t necessarily apply to everyone and in any situation or in the same order. Every person feels differently in these stages while dealing with their life challenges. One day, a person might feel extreme sadness but on the other, he may feel hopeful. These stages of grief vary from person to person or situation to situation.

Thoughts are our internal dialogues but negative thoughts may result in depression. To cope with such situations, people might want to go on some trips, to spend more time with family and friends. Most people try to laugh more to ease their pain but it varies from person to person and in some cases it is reversible. To overcome depression one should talk to a loyal friend or find a psychotherapist, or a counsellor, and while anti-depressants are helpful, consulting to a psychiatrist is necessary.

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Naya Daur