Grief Counseling and Addiction Recovery

Grief Counseling and Addiction Recovery

Grief is defined as the biological response to significant separation or loss. Grief is essentially an emotional response, but can also entail physical and cognitive changes. Humans in general have an instinctual need for attachment, and grieving behaviors illustrate the intense need to retrieve things that have been lost or reinstate a relationship. Common grieving behaviors and symptoms of grief will include:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Sorrow
  • Depression
  • Shock
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Relief
  • Emotional numbness
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Chronic pain and pain symptoms
  • Feeling tightness in the chest, throat and neck
  • Preoccupation with the loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Altered appetite
  • Social withdrawal
  • Avoidance symptoms

How Does Grief Affect Addiction and Addiction Recovery?

The symptoms of grief alone should be enough evidence to understand the link between grief and addiction. In more cases than not, addiction is spawned by some issue that goes much deeper than just a curious desire to get high or accidentally using “too much” or “longer than intended”. Addictions often stem from some deep rooted emotional issue or trauma, like grief, where an individual uses a particular substance or behavior to cope with their physical or emotional pain. When individuals use drugs, alcohol or certain behaviors to “deal” with grief, they can very quickly fall into addictive behavior because the need to self-medicate a problem with these substances/behaviors while become compulsive and habitual. Therefore, addressing any grief-related issues during addiction treatment and recovery can be highly beneficial for achieving long-term recovery success.

How Can Grief Counseling Benefit Addiction Recovery?

Grief counseling is one treatment option available for individuals undergoing the addiction recovery process. Other than experiencing grief from losing a loved one or relationship, addicted individuals can experience grief as a response to losing their identity from the addiction. Addiction significantly changes a person; from their thoughts to their feelings and most noticeably to their behavior. A person ready for addiction recovery can experience deep feelings of grief, as if they have lost themselves, their relationships, way of life and identity as a whole. Therefore, grieving behavior often appears during the addiction treatment and recovery process and is a natural reaction. Through grief counseling individuals can uncover the mysteries behind feelings of grief; root causes, symptoms, triggers and coping mechanisms and more.

Addiction recovery involves so much more than simply quitting substance use or a certain behavior. Addiction recovery requires individuals to make major life changes that will support long-term recovery. An addict will face the threat of relapse every single day following treatment, and addressing potential relapse triggers, like grief, makes recovery easier to maintain. By reducing stress, emotional pain and other factors that commonly trigger addiction, individuals will have a healthier more fulfilling lifestyle which supports recovery. Grief counseling can benefit addiction recovery by teaching and practicing skills to cope with stress, loss, anxiety and sadness and guiding one through the healing process so they can move forward from pain, grieving symptoms, and past traumas, and finally develop healthier relationships and a greater sense of self-worth and confidence and even e

Find Grief Counseling and Other Options for Addiction Recovery

If you are experiencing grief along with your addiction, we can help you find treatment and recovery options for both issues. Please call our toll-free number to speak with a recovery professional about finding the right counseling and treatment services for your unique recovery needs. Recovery professionals are on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are happy to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with all the information you will ever need on grief and addiction treatment and recovery. To learn more about how we can help you find and achieve life-long recovery, please call and speak a recovery professional today.