Pathological mourning

Bereavement is probably the most painful aspect of our life. Mourning is commonly defined as the loss of someone who is dear to us and is a time of great pain and suffering. Mourning, in psychology, refers to the process of metabolizing the loss of someone, something or part of ourselves.

The five stages of mourning

The Swiss psychiatrist Kubler Ross, who has worked for a long time with the terminally ill, has identified a process underlying the awareness of his patients about their illness, a process which was then also associated with the elaboration of grief following a loss.

This model follows five steps:

  • I decline
  • Anger
  • Negotiation
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

In  rejection , one simply denies that the loss occurred. When the phase of denial is overcome, anger takes over for what has happened, anger because those who were there before are no longer there.

The  anger , unlike the denial, however, allows to reason, to try to make sense of this loss and this leads to trading.

The  negotiation  implies the need to internalize the changes associated with the loss and the development of this involves a period of depression.

After the  depression , the process is completed and you can come to the acceptance  and internalization of what happened.

What can help the grieving process?

With  complete mourning we mean, then, the possibility of being able to move forward in one’s life , without forgetting what happened (which would be a form of characteristic refusal of the first phase) or without dragging a block to any of the other phases, building one’s own way of being able to actively accept what happened.

A path of dialogue such as that of  psychological support allows the person to move from possible fixation to one of the phases – and the feelings that characterize them – relaunching the desire for life.


by Abdullah Sam
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