As we all know, grief is a common reaction to the loss of a loved one. How people grieve and for how long differs and is often defined by their culture. Grieving is a natural reaction that is meant to assist in accepting the loss of a loved one.
However, research has been done that indicates a difference between the normal grief process and what is called complicated or abnormal grief. A normal grief reaction includes shock, denial, numbness, anger, depression, with ultimate acceptance. Complicated or prolonged grief occurs when the normal responses are absent, excessive, distorted or never ending. Individuals who have lost their loved ones to a traumatic death (such as suicide or overdose) or individuals with a psychiatric history, multiple stressors, emotional dependency or substance abuse issues are at greater risk of developing a complicated grief reaction.
Complicated grief is usually defined by a prolonged grieving process that over time impacts the individual’s ability to function well. Tomlinson and Kline (2004) outlined the following warning signs of complicated grief; absence of grief, persistent blame or guilt, aggression, antisocial or destructive acts, suicidal thoughts or actions, unwillingness to speak of the deceased, prolonged dysfunction at school/work, exhibiting proneness to accidents and engaging in addictive behaviors.
If grief is severely impacting you or someone you love, it is important to consider seeking professional help from someone who is trained in the treatment of loss.
We Can Help With Treating Grief and Loss
The experienced and compassionate staff at New Bridge Foundation™, in Berkeley, California can help you or your loved one recover from grief related addiction issues: Click here to contact us or call (866) 772-8491 .