reading time: 5 minutes   tags: emotional

Not unlike the process we experience when we lose a loved-one, coping with vision loss at any stage requires grieving. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross famously names the 5-step nonlinear sequence of dealing with death and dying. 

Here, we'll look at re-conceptualizing this same sequence, but in the context of vision loss. If you, or someone close to you is experiencing any of these stages, it is essential that you discuss the types of therapies that can support them through their grieving. 

1.) Denial

This can be a very difficult phase for the family and natural support system. The person experiencing vision loss is in denial of their state, and could potentially be putting themselves in danger while attempting to continue on their daily lives as before. 

2.) Anger

An expression of anger often takes the form of blame. It could be after a difficult surgery, the person coping with vision loss takes out their anger toward the medical doctors. Sometimes this phase also reflects a sense of regret or confusion. 

3.) Bargaining

A person may ask a religious figure, or even a therapist to bring back their vision. A willingness to trade any sense for their vision is evident. As all of these feelings are experienced, there is no linear progression, and this bargaining may come and go fluidly. 

4.) Depression

This can take many forms, but it's primarily categorized as a withdrawal. The person experiencing vision loss may feel inadequate because they are depending on others, and feel like there is no way forward. 

5.) Acceptance

The initial acceptance of the degree of vision loss has occurred, and the person is able to begin mapping out a plan for getting back to work, re-engaging with their Activities of Daily Living, and maintaining their independence.