When someone has lost themselves to an addiction that began after they experienced a loss or personal tragedy, they are more than likely in need of professional help. The pain caused by grief and loss can be debilitating, and an addiction that develops in the midst of grief and loss is an extremely unhealthy coping device that needs to be eradicated. The sooner this type of addict can begin their recovery, the better. Addiction that begins under grievous circumstances can be one of the heaviest and most unstable kinds of addiction, putting the addict at great risk. It is imperative that the grieving addict allows themselves to grieve fully in a healthy way in order for them to move on and regain their life. In order to end their addiction and begin to move on, the individual will have to face the pain of their loss and accept the reality of it. In order to be successful, the recovering addict will need:
- The love and availability of their support system. Relationships are a basic, essential therapy to humans, and in a time of grief, loss and addiction, they can mean the difference between addiction recovery and relapse.
- Counseling or some kind of professional guidance. It is not necessary for everyone, but it is highly recommended that someone struggling with addiction due to grief and loss seeks individual counseling, the services of a trauma and PTSD center, support group help or credible self-help literature created by a mental health professional.
- Cognitive behavioral work. No matter what kind of outside addiction remedies are sought, internal reflection on thought and behavioral patterns, as well as the reorganization of the aforementioned, is necessary to addiction recovery. This is the part of addiction recovery that requires the highest level of responsibility from the recovering addict.
- A life full of meaningful and therapeutic activities. Pursuing happiness is an important part of letting go of grief, which is why making time for enjoyable recreation and purposeful endeavors is essential to addiction recovery.
When a person is grieving, they are often not thinking in their right mind. Grief has a way of overwhelming a person’s usual healthy thought patterns and replacing them with heavy feelings of depression. This can cause the person to make bad decisions or act out of character. Frequently, the way a person will try to cope with grief is through a particularly unhealthy method: addiction or substance abuse. Addictive activities and substances provide an escape from reality, which is incredibly tempting for someone who is grieving. There is nothing that a grieving person wants more than to escape from the tragedy of their reality. When someone you care about is grieving, do not take lightly signs of substance abuse or addiction. It could be that your loved one is in need of professional help.
No one intends to wind up an addict or substance abuser. These conditions are largely brought on by an inability to cope through healthy means, either due to mental unhealthiness or extreme life circumstances, such as personal tragedy. Initially, a person’s response to grief is usually shock or denial, followed by a heavy emotional period when the gravity of the situation is hitting them. As the individual relearns how to live with the permanency of the loss, the possibility of addiction or substance abuse is imminent. During this time, more than any other period, the individual may be susceptible to wanting to bury their pain beneath an escape. It is very important that their friends, family and loved ones take signs of addiction and substance abuse seriously so that they can receive the professional help they need. If they do not receive help with their addiction or substance abuse problem, they may put their own life at risk. If someone you care about has endured personal tragedy and you believe they are trying to cope with substance abuse or addiction, reach out to a mental health professional today.
There are times in life where it seems that nothing can go wrong, and then there are times when the world feels like it is crashing down around you. When life becomes consumed in grief and loss, it can be hard to imagine a way to carry on and pick yourself up. There are some life tragedies that the human mind struggles to comprehend, such as the death of a loved one, a son or daughter being diagnosed with a terminal illness or being abandoned by a beloved spouse. In these times, it is very important to let yourself accept what has happened and grieve in a healthy way.
Initially, it is natural to be in a state of shock or denial. The moment when someone learns that their life will never be the same due to personal tragedy, it is often impossible to process the information. The human mind is not meant to comprehend tragedy quickly. The best thing the individual’s support system can do for their loved one is simply be there to care for and love them in preparation of what is to come.
There is a point when the individual will process and understand the full weight of the personal tragedy they are experiencing and will need the help of their support system to get through it. This stage of grief, known as acceptance, can be a devastating moment for the individual’s emotions. Acceptance is usually accompanied by a flood of emotions and a tremendous need for support. Some people are unable to care for themselves when the full weight of their personal tragedy hits them. There are also those who go through a quiet acceptance rather than an outwardly expressive one, and may need time away from their support system. This is also completely natural.
What is to follow is a lengthy grieving process. For some it runs its course and then the individual is ready to step back into their life. For others, it is a more extended process that requires a lengthy purging of painful emotions before the individual can be functional in their life again. No two people grieve in the same way, but if you are concerned that a loved one is damaging their life due to an inability to recovery from personal grief, it is wise to seek professional mental health intervention.