It is often traumatic life experiences that cause individuals to begin abusing alcohol and drugs, and one of the most traumatic experiences of all is the death of a loved one. This is especially true when the death was unexpected, violent or witnessed by another family member. The psychological damage caused by this can lead to drug abuse which can make addiction recovery very challenging. Below are some tips that can help.
The Connection Between Mental Health And Grief
The death of a loved one has different effects on different people. While some are able to mourn normally, for others things aren’t so simple. Feelings of confusion, rage or denial is common among some, and they may find it extremely difficult to function normally, resorting to alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication. However, using these substances will only make things worse, as they can lead to addiction.
Depression is a common result of the death of a friend or family member. It may become clinical in nature, which means that an individual will have problems concentrating at work or school, and may have feelings of hopelessness. Some people who have overcome clinical depression have stated that while depressed they felt constant fatigue. One of the most dangerous aspects of depression is that a person may become suicidal, and may attempt to end their lives so that they can join their lost loved ones. This is why it is so important for those in mourning to seek help from others.
Recognize Your Feelings
Many people resort to using controlled substances to avoid confronting their grief and the feelings they have. However, it is much better to confront the emotions head on and allow yourself to experience them so you can advance and overcome this. This, despite how unpleasant it will be at first, is the best way to obtain inner peace.
There is a tendency for some, especially those who are introverted, to isolate themselves when experiencing grief, pushing others away in the process. Instead of internalizing your grief, it is much better to look outward. Having people around you that care is crucial during the earliest stages for mourning, as this time is the most difficult. This is also the time when you will be most vulnerable to using alcohol or drugs.
Maintain Healthy Habits
Grieving people have a tendency to let themselves go. They may go without sleep, food or proper grooming. This combined with using alcohol and drugs can be a dangerous combination. Getting adequate rest and eating good foods will give you the strength to overcome your grief while preventing you from slipping into a downward spiral. You won’t honor your deceased friend or loved one by destroying your own life. They would want you to move forward, and doing so is the best way to honor their memory.