Grief describes the body and mind’s response to the loss of something or someone. People can experience grief in response to a range of different losses. Experiences such as the death of a loved one, a relationship break-up, the loss of a job or the death of a pet can all lead to grief reactions.
Up until recently it was hypothesised that people experience grief in five stages. This theory was based on a misunderstanding of work by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss Psychiatrist, and has since been shown through scientific research to be incorrect.
Nowadays most psychologists agree that people’s grief reactions vary depending on the nature and circumstances of the loss, their personality and temperament, their support system, their culture, their religion and their overall beliefs and assumptions. Pre-existing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety can also impact the way in which someone experiences grief.