How Grief Affects Mental Health

How Grief Affects Mental HealthThe experience of grief can encompass much more than the loss of someone you love. Grief can occur over lost hopes, dreams, or goals. Grief can happen after a serious illness or after a combination of losses or trials. While everyone experiences grief at one point or another in life, it is important to be aware of the times when grief becomes overwhelming or unmanageable. There are resources available to help those in need. If you are concerned that grief has impacted someone you love to a severe extent, you may want to discuss this issue further with your loved one.

Grief that Leads to Depression

Sometimes grief can be so strong that it brings up a more serious issue of depression. Anxiety following grief can also lead to exhaustion and depression. For people with bipolar disorder or pre-existing depression, grief may trigger a depressive episode that requires treatment.

Some signs that your grief or the grief of a loved one may have become more serious include the following:

  • An inability to envision a better future
  • Feelings of low self-worth or low self-esteem
  • Disturbances in returning to work or normal life
  • Suicidal thoughts or gestures
  • Grief that lasts longer than six months
  • Grief that is complicated by drug or alcohol use

If suicidal feelings or feelings of hopelessness begin to occur, it may be time to check in with a support group or take a moment to talk with a mental health counselor. Grief and loss are very difficult experiences. Do not feel like you must handle this alone. There is support and help in non-judgmental, friendly, and safe environments that can help make a brighter future.

Loss and Addiction

Sometimes long-lasting feelings of loss, loneliness, or hopelessness lead people to use or return to using drugs or alcohol. When loss is a complicating factor, addiction can quickly take hold. Loss and addiction often go hand-in-hand, and intense grief following a loss can trigger substance dependence in even the most successful, stoic individuals.

If someone you love has been battling grief and addiction, it may be time to seek support. A certified and experienced interventionist may be able to help you work with your loved one and help your loved one accept treatment help for grief and addiction. The best interventions occur with careful planning. Consider speaking with an experienced interventionist to learn how to make your intervention effective.

Grief Counseling Support

Grief and loss affect entire families and friend groups. If grief has impacted you, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline and learn how we can help you find family counseling, addiction treatment, grief support groups, integrated addiction rehab programs, and more.

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