How Grief Can Affect Addiction

It is okay to grieve. After all, grief is the natural human response to experiencing pain and feeling the depth of sadness that often accompanies a loss. However, without adequate coping mechanisms in your toolbox, grief and addiction may come as an unwanted duo. There is no one timetable for how long your grief will last. Still, with professional grief therapy, you may be able to safely navigate your emotions and stay away from self-medicating with substances. Reach out to Alina Lodge online today or call 833.685.1700 to discuss with our compassionate team the links between grief and addiction and how we can help you stay healthy as you mourn a loss.

The Experience of Grief

People experience grief for as long as it takes to adjust to the severe changes in their life that come part and parcel with tragedy and loss. The grieving process is as unique as you are and can last for weeks, months, or years.

When people grieve, they will often feel numb to the world and removed from daily life with its petty gripes, commitments, and mundane routines. Extreme emotional stress from grief may even make it impossible for you to maintain your usual roles and responsibilities. Grief may cause anger and frustration, and for some, they end up battling grief and addiction. We can help ensure you stay healthy as you mourn a loss, arming you with coping mechanisms through compassionate care and therapy.

The Association Between Grief and Addiction

Your gut reaction to experiencing grief may be to avoid it, deny the pain, and try to get through each day one at a time. You may run from your grief by moving or changing jobs, and sadly, you could attempt to self-medicate to dull the senses, ease the pain and forget about the hurt, sadness you are feeling. Unfortunately, while drugs and alcohol may work in the short term, your grief and addiction issues are just getting started and will soon start to get far worse. As you use substances to mask your grief, you weave a more tangled web of mental health issues, emotional complexities, and real-life distress at work, home, school, and within your financial picture.

Grieving Different Types of Loss

Feelings of loss are highly personal, although many people commonly associate certain types of loss with intense feelings of grief, including:

  • Death of a partner
  • Death of a child or other family member
  • Loss of a pet
  • Loss of a close friend
  • Death of a classmate or colleague
  • A loved one’s serious illness
  • The end of an intimate, long term relationship

Death, illness, and the finality of life is not the only source of grief. Less obvious losses can bring about intense feelings of grief and addiction if you do not possess coping mechanisms to process your emotions in a healthy manner. These include:

  • Loss of a physical ability
  • Loss of financial security
  • Leaving or losing a home
  • Serious illness or diagnosis
  • Change of employment
  • Graduation from school

Ways To Treat Grief

It’s a burden to carry grief and loss and to do so alone. Loss is a part of life, and there are healthy ways to deal with this kind of pain, including grief therapy. At Alina Lodge, grieving students work with a counselor or a support group to process their pain and learn the coping mechanisms that can help them find peace and move forward in a healthy way. Some people struggling with grief and addiction will require additional treatment to address their substance use. Inpatient or outpatient treatment programs may be needed to help those students manage grief and addiction simultaneously.

Learn More at Alina Lodge

If you find yourself trying to cope with grief and addiction, Alina Lodge can be where you overcome, cope, heal and move ahead toward a happier life in recovery. Contact our dedicated medical team today using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 833.685.1700.

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