Promises Treatment Programs: Grief and Loss Counseling & Treatment
Grief is the normal response to loss due to death, divorce, loss of a job, relocation away from family and friends, loss of health due to illness and other losses. Everyone processes grief differently. Some bury it, others are unable to stop crying. You may think that you or other family members are handling their grief when, in fact, they’re falling apart inside.
Signs of grief include feelings of being empty or numb, as if in shock. People who are grieving may experience trembling, nausea, dry mouth, trouble eating, inability to sleep, difficulty breathing, and muscle weakness.
Anger may erupt at the least provocation, or none at all. Comments such as “I should have” or “I could have” are very common, and are manifestations of guilt, a component of grief. More signs of grief include strange, vivid dreams or nightmares, no desire to go back to work or go out at all, isolation from others, and absentmindedness.
Grief is often described as emotional reactions that occur in stages, not always in order and, at times, even simultaneously. Common reactions include: denial, disbelief and numbness; anger or blaming others; bargaining; depressed mood, sadness and crying; and acceptance or coming to terms with the loss. Symptoms that last for a while may lead to clinical depression.
Grief counselors and psychiatrists say that grief lasts as long as it takes to accept and learn to live with the profound loss. The acute phase of grief usually lasts up to two months. Some milder symptoms may last a year or longer and it may take a year or longer to overcome.
Family and friends can offer emotional support during the grieving process. Other help can come from members of the clergy, mental health specialists, self-help groups and social workers. Psychological counseling may help someone who is unable to face the loss or who has depression while grieving.
Grief and loss can affect overall health, leading to depression and alcohol or drug use. Grief that lasts for more than two months and is severe enough to interfere with daily life may be a sign of more complicated grief and a more serious illness, such as major depression. Medication may be helpful.
Promises’ grief counseling program provides comprehensive treatment for clients struggling with substance abuse problems driven or complicated by grief and loss. We recognize that everyone copes with loss in their own way, and that these issues often contribute to the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Our team works hand in hand with clients to develop a plan that supports them through every step of the recovery process. If you or someone you care about needs addiction and grief and loss treatment, contact a Promises recovery specialist today.