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What Is Complicated Grief?

What Is Complicated Grief?Most people experience grief after losing loved ones; a loved one’s death can impact people for months and years to come. Going through months of grief and pain is healthy and part of the healing process, but eventually the symptoms of grief weaken, so people can pick up the pieces and continue their lives. However, some people experience strong symptoms of grief that persist over a prolonged amount of time. This is referred to as complicated grief and can lead to many problems, so seek professional help to address this severe condition.

Symptoms of Complicated Grief

Even though the pain of losing a loved one never truly fades, most people begin to feel normal again after some time. However, the symptoms of complicated grief differ from normal grief, because they are severe, long-lasting and often debilitating. People with complicated grief feel stuck in intense mourning and they will struggle to focus on anything except their loss. Additionally, someone with complicated grief will experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Several months of intense grief
  • Problems accepting the loved one’s death
  • Emotional numbness and detachment
  • Constantly focusing on sorrow
  • Inability to enjoy life
  • Self-blame
  • Trouble upholding normal routines
  • Irritability and bitterness
  • Reticence and lack of social activities
  • Loss of purpose in life

If you exude any of these symptoms, then seek professional help.

How Complicated Grief Affects Drug Abuse

People who experience complicated grief believe there is no way out, that they can never escape their painful emotions. Therefore, they often desire relief, and are in so much pain that they do not care if relief comes with additional risks. This means grieving people may abuse drugs, because the relief from drug abuse is strong and on demand. However, self-medicating grief is dangerous and can lead to debilitating problems.

The best way to address complicated grief is to use healthy coping skills. Psychiatric treatment can train people to solve emotional issues from complicated grief, especially through treatment methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, because it relieves patients’ stress and encourages them to engage with other people and life in general. Many bereaved people can move on from complicated grief with the help of mental health professionals. You can recover if you seek professional help.

Help for Grief and Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with complicated grief and abuses drugs as a result, then call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about the treatment you need to recover. Our staff are available 24 hours a day to help you heal from grief, so please call today to get well.