The 5 Stages of Grief for an RA Diagnosis

Grief is a natural part of a Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. It’s easy to get caught up on the negatives about RA but it’s important to go through the grieving process to achieve hope and acceptance of a diagnosis. 

 

In this blog, we are going to dive into the 5 stages of grief and what you can expect to experience in each stage. 

 

There are five stages of grief according to the Swiss-American Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross:

Stage #1 Denial

Stage #2 Anger

Stage #3 Bargaining

Stage #4 Depression

Stage #5 Acceptance 

 

Stage #1 Denial

 

Denial is when one avoids the inevitable. Usually denying the diagnosis, the changes to one’s life, or any aspect of RA comes with this stage. 

 

Stage #2 Anger

 

Anger is a redirection of emotions. This stage usually involves blaming someone or something else for your diagnosis or other losses. Anger can seem very high energy and active. 

 

Stage #3 Bargaining

 

Bargaining is when you feel very vulnerable or helpless and you start to make deals with other people, God, or yourself, for example. This is usually a state of postponement of feelings.

 

Stage #4 Depression

 

Depression is usually the quietest and most isolated stage of grief. This is usually where you feel the most sad. This is also where many people with RA get stuck in their grieving process. 

 

Stage #5 Acceptance 

 

Acceptance is when you have come to terms with where RA plays a role in your life. Acceptance is when there are good days and bad days, and that’s OK. Acceptance is not endorsing or even embracing RA, but being OK with it. Sometimes a stage of acceptance can involve simply respecting the diagnosis. 

 

It’s important to understand that people do not always go through these stages in order. It’s also common for people not to spend equal time in each stage. One may spend an extended period of time in denial, skip bargaining, spend a short period of time angry, and then cycle back to denial again. 

 

Everyone does not experience all of the stages of grief. For example, some people may never experience acceptance of RA. 

 

But I’m here to help you get to the acceptance stage of grief so you can live your best life with RA. 

 

Take the first step to embracing and overcoming your grief through my coaching program. Together, we will work one-on-one to learn about your disease and medications, gain valuable tools, and have endless resources to help you manage your mindset and manage your disease. All you need is a smart phone, access to emails, internet, a printer and an open mind. 


Ready to embark on the best journey of your life? Click here to sign up for a free consultation with me.

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