The 5 Stages of Emotions

In life, in dealing with problems and losses psychologists generally say we go through five stages of emotions:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Most commonly we experience this from heartbreak, losing a loved one, going through a crisis, business problems, etc..  The list is endless.. We humans have a lot of problems and we deal with them through our emotions.

Sometimes we do not acknowledge that these are our emotions.  Yes, we feel hurt, feel sad, feel angry, feel serious, feel resentment.  We try to act “civilized” and push these emotions aside.  We ignore them. After all, we are all grown ups and grown ups do not succumb to their emotions.

It’s dangerous.  Psychologists mention that it is not good to ignore these emotions for it can cause “emotional indigestion.” It can cause us to be tense, stressed and ready for a fight. Our heart beats faster and our natural instinct sets in.  We want to survive. We are ready for battle.

It’s dangerous to ignore our emotions, because if we are not aware of our emotions, it can cause a wide
variety of problems in our lives.  If you are stressed and tired, you may end up shouting or relieving your stress on those around you.  People who had nothing to do with your stress and were instead trying to help you.  We lose our sense of judgement.  We decide things differently, than we otherwise would have if we had a healthy mental state.  As a result, bad feelings arise and things can go down hill.  Relationships, work and things can easily go bad.

This historical flood in Bangkok too is causing those in Bangkok to experience the stages of emotions : denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.   I’ve witnessed this around me and have to admit I too am going through this five stage emotional process.

Denial: At first when talking about the flood with friends I said, “No way, Bangkok will not flood. The government is protecting us, and even if we did flood, it will be minimal. Nothing to worry about. Don’t
worry about it.”  I am denying the fact we will flood.

Anger: If you follow the online social network, Twitter, Facebook, etc.. you see this many places.  At one stage when the “water” first entered Bangkok, many were angry.  I was angry.  How could the situation be handled so badly?  How could the authorities not have seen this coming? How could they not have prevented this?  Anger, anger, anger. Anger at the authorites, anger at the news, anger at everything. Anger at having to empty the first floor of furniture, wrap up everything in plastic, use sandbags and plastic to turn the house into a bunker, take out the curtans and evacuate.  Yes, I was angry.  One should not have to go through this.  Life is too short to be spent worrying about floods.

Bargaining: Even after over a month of flooding, some people still believe that “inner Bangkok” will not flood.  Everyday, some good news give hope. I hate to break the good news.  From the data, I think it will definitely flood.

Before, authorties said the domestic airport would be saved, it succumbed to dear water.  Water now
fills the runway up to airplane bellies.  It has turned into a beautiful lake.  Then they said 7 industrial estates would survive.  They all flooded.  We are bargaining that perhaps it isn’t true. It’s not true that an entire capital city will flood.  Something must be wrong here.  Maybe things will be different.

Depression:  After awhile, we get depressed.  We get sad. We realize that we are indeed in a crisis. We indeed have broken up, lost a job or seen our business gone bankrupt.  I was depressed for a while about this flood and ate more chocolate cookies than I should have.  I went through an entire bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.  (Yummmm) Yes, these are my favorite cookies!

Acceptance:  In the end, we have to admit it.  The sad and hurtful truth is that Bangkok will be flooded.  We will be flooded for a month.  Now I think I’m in this stage (but I could be wrong).  I know my house is going to be flooded.  I’m less than a kilometer away from the canal that is fighting a losing battle.  I know it’s just a matter of time.  I cannot do anything about it, so I just do the best I can and live life each day as best I can.

Yes, Bangkok citizens are going through these stages of emotions.  If you feel yourself going through this, please allow it to run it’s course and be aware of it.  Don’t let it ruin or run your life.

Rest, take time for yourself and recooperate.  Heal and relax.  Reach out to those around you.

Then take a deep breath and accept the fact.  The house will be flooded.  The business will be flooded.  The factory will be filled with water.  I shall have to evacuate. I shall be uncomfortable.  I shall have to spend tons of money on renovation and rebuildng. I shall have a year ahead of dealing with contractors. I shall be tired. This flood may happen again next year.

Do not fear these emotions for they are normal and they are a part of who we are.

Stay healthy my dear readers. Both emotionally and physically.  Take care!

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