Drugs, Alcohol, and Coping
Grief influences a person’s mental and emotional health, particularly when that person is being affected by addiction. It can trigger depression, anxiety, and irrational behavior, along with substance abuse. People experiencing painful grief often choose drugs and alcohol to try to numb feelings of pain and hurt linked to their loss and plenty of individuals signed up for rehab or sober living programs might find that avoiding drugs and alcohol while grieving is specially difficult.
On a short-term basis, drugs and alcohol may look to help silence negative feelings, emotions, and thoughts, playing with the long run, using addictive substances to face loss is only able to end in more pain and devastation.
Self-medicating with alcohol and drugs may even exacerbate feelings of hopelessness and depression, numerous drugs behave as depressants independently. When in conjunction with loss, abusing drugs carries severe consequences and it has the potential to skyrocket into full-blown addiction.
When treating people who have experienced loss (especially traumatic loss), substance rehab centers and transitional housing programs should address their addiction plus the trauma because both play a huge role in the overall wellness of the people.
The Five Stages of Grief
There are five main stages that your person may go through when they handle loss. Psycom states that however, not every person go through all five or experience them inside the same order, most people will experience no less than one of the following stages. Swiss psychologist Kübler-Ross describes these procedures in further detail in their book, “On Death and Dying.”
Denial – Many individuals are shocked and confused by their loss or seek to avoid it entirely by adopting a mindset of denial. In a way, it will help the person survive your initial shock with the loss and take care of it.
Anger – It’s natural to need to blame family, God, or inquire like, “Why me?” when looking at loss. Feelings of frustration, irritation, and anxiety could be overwhelming, and also the anger can bring about a desire to have separation from friends and relations.
Bargaining – When experiencing loss, a number of people may also seek to bargain with themselves or with God since they struggle to find meaning in your life.
Depression – Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and despair usually takes over after experiencing loss. Many people are withdrawing from everyday life as well as the people around them. They may even begin to have suicidal thoughts.
Acceptance – Accepting loss in your everyday living is a thing that comes with time. It is a procedure for readjusting completely to another way of life and it’s also never immediate. Acceptance can take time and patience.
A person can experience some or most of these stages yet still not be able to deal with their grief. When drugs and alcohol become a part on the grieving process for an individual in active addiction or recovery, you need to enlist the aid of professionals in an addiction rehab center or sober living house.
Choosing to Grieve within a Healthy Way
According to Psych Central, healthy grieving and unhealthy grieving are two different things entirely. There is not one particular correct way to grieve, since this process is different for everyone, but there are various unhealthy strategies to dealing with loss that can cause further problems. Unhealthy grieving typically contains things like:
Ignoring feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiety.
Pretending being okay even though you’re not.
If that you are experiencing loss so you know that you are at risk of counting on drugs and alcohol to manage, the Mayo Clinic recommends a few things you can do to actively grieve inside a healthy way.
Acknowledge your complete feelings. No one grieves in exactly the same way so you may feel some things that you think that are untimely or unacceptable. It’s important which you let yourself go through the loss and feel all of the emotions. You may need to share those feelings that has a counselor or sober living roommate as opposed to your loved ones, but every emotion is vital to the grieving process.
Give yourself time. Just realize that healing will take time. It may look easier to mask your pain and hurt with drugs or alcohol, playing with the end, that’s all it can do. Those emotions it is still there, therefore you’ll still need time for you to process them.
Ask for help. Friends, close relatives, and counselors are wonderful resources for grieving people. Although it is tempting to grieve alone, sharing your loss web-sites is an essential part on the healing process. Sober homes (often known as halfway houses ) are excellent practical information on people in recovery given that they provide intensive peer support within a way that other living situations might not exactly.
Prioritize self-care. During your period of loss, it’s extremely imperative that you get sleep, eat good food, exercise often, and employ good hygiene. Disrespecting your whole body and your mind with damaging thoughts or alcohol and drug abuse will still only intensify feelings of depression and sadness.
Lean with your spiritual beliefs. If you believe inside a higher power, rely on that during your duration of loss. Doing so may help you find meaning and purpose in everyday life, even amid trauma and grief.