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Difference Between Guilt and Grief

Guilt vs Grief

Guilt and grief are two starkly contrasting emotions. In some sense, guilt can just be one step towards grief. Both emotions are perfectly natural and at some point we all experience either emotion. How one copes with these depends on a multitude of factors, both internal and external. While guilt is almost always a result of actions committed by oneself and could otherwise be avoided, grief results from circumstances that are usually out of one’s own control.

Guilt and grief are entirely different in every sense, from how each can arise to the reactions and the resolutions. While there are usually chances and ways to resolve guilt, grief cannot be resolved at once. Rather, it is worked through where one learns to live with it until such a time when he can already cope with it. With time though, the intensity will fade but this varies from individual to individual.

Guilt is an emotion that creates a bad feeling in someone for either something he did or did not do when he could have done so. Self blame and despair are characteristic of guilt which usually creates a state of vulnerability to conditions of depression and anxiety.

Grief ,on the other hand, is a response to some kind of loss, particularly the loss of someone or something that you were closely bonded to. The loss of a loved one like a friend, a family member or a companion is a common cause of grief. Although it is commonly an emotional feeling, grief can also be of a different dimension, like social, physical, behavioral and cognitive. The way one copes with grief varies as some individuals will even exhibit symptoms suggesting they are developing depression, for instance weepiness, fatigue, extreme sadness, appetite loss or gain.

Grief and guilt are handled differently by different people. Grief, especially, isn’t easy to handle and cope with for many. While some people can choose to hold back grief, others simply go through all sorts of emotions like sadness, worry, shock and confusion. Guilt, however, is better handled and majority of people will keep it to themselves, although it also has some negative effects. Most of the fears of guilt result from trying to avoid something, which can lead to anxiety.

1. Grief is a response to loss while guilt is an emotion that brings bad feelings usually for some wrong action or words said.
2. Guilt is easier to cope with and handle than grief, which in some people can last the remainder of their lives.
3. Both can lead to negative effects like psychological conditions.

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