What Is Complicated Grief?

What Is Complicated Grief?Complicated grief is an extended, more intense form of grief, which occurs after the loss of a loved one and can produce intense sadness. Time eventually relieves normal grief, but complicated grief can debilitate people by keeping them locked in their depression. People who suffer from complicated grief struggle to accept the loss and resume normal activities, and it can lead to drug abuse. Seek professional help to address complicated grief and any resulting drug problem.

Signs of Complicated Grief

People who struggle with complicated grief may exude any of the following problems:

  • Longings to see or be with the deceased person, and these feelings do not diminish with time
  • Constant thoughts of the deceased person that prevent people from fulfilling other tasks
  • Feelings of anger or bitterness about the loved one’s death
  • Strong feelings of hopelessness
  • Inability to move on after a normal time of grief
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • An inability to carry out normal routines
  • Distrusting others

Complicated grief typically means people cannot move on after a considerable amount of time has passed. This condition may develop if people had a special relationship with the deceased, if the deceased had an abnormal or tragic death or if certain events prevent the person from moving on.

Effects of Complicated Grief

People suffering from complicated grief may abuse drugs to self-medicate their symptoms. In fact, people with complicated grief have a higher risk of any of the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

People with complicated grief need proper treatment to develop coping skills, because in this way they can recover. Avoid substance abuse if you struggle with prolonged grief, because, if you do not, it could lead to addiction.

How to Treat Complicated Grief

You can manage complicated grief in any of the following ways:

  • Physical exercise can relieve depression and reduce stress while distracting people from grief
  • Get plenty of rest and eat healthily
  • Plan ahead for upcoming holidays or special occasions that will likely remind you of your loved one
  • Socialize and stay in touch with family
  • Join a support group that can help you cope

Getting professional treatment for complicated grief can teach you coping skills that help you avoid drug and alcohol abuse.

Find Treatment for Complicated Grief and Drug Abuse

If you or someone you love struggles with complicated grief and/or substance abuse, then call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that will encourage recovery. Call them today for instant, confidential support.