- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Understanding grief
- Common questions about grief
- Why do I feel so up and down?
Why do I feel so up and down?
People sometimes refer to stages of grief, but grief isn’t something you begin one day, move through step-by-step, and come out from unchanged. Grief is dynamic and changeable. This can feel chaotic, but both the ups and downs are part of grief.
Most people find that they don’t get over the loss but they slowly learn to live with the loss. It is common for the way you cope with grief to change. You may switch between feelings of intense grief and activities that distract you from your grief. You may move between focusing on the loss (crying, missing the person, feeling pain) and moving forward (returning to activities, learning new skills, forming new relationships). You may do this again and again. The experience is often described as being on a roller-coaster or a series of waves.
A/Prof Lisa Beatty, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Consulting Clinical Psychologist, Flinders University Institute of Mental Health and Wellbeing, SA; Sandra Anderson, Consumer; Dr Alexandra Clinch, Palliative Medicine Specialist and Deputy Director, Palliative Care, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC; Christopher Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Grief Australia; Nathan MacArthur, Specialist Grief Counsellor and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Sydney Grief Counselling Services, NSW; Linda Magann, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Palliative Care, St George Hospital, NSW; Palliative Care Australia; Richard Upton, Consumer; Lesley Woods, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA.
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Emotions and cancer
People who are affected by cancer in some way can experience a range of emotions, that can be very challenging to deal with at times. Learn more.
End of life
This information may help you better cope with end of life, or support someone who may be dying with cancer