Anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance, denial. These are the five stages of grief which never appear in any particular order or quantity. Grief is a process of mourning as well as healing. Grieving a loss can take time and energy, at times feeling as though it may never end. The grieving process can take days, weeks, months, and even years. Unfortunately, there is no clear distinction to when grieving ends. No standards exist for how long grief should or shouldn’t last. There are signs for when grief may necessitate extra clinical support. Though the process of grief is unique to each individual, a time does come when grief has become a problem. Clinical inpatient treatment can help the grieving process come closer to a conclusion by providing integrative treatment to encourage healing of mind, body, and spirit.
Living Becomes Difficult
Constantly switching between the phases of grief can be exhausting. It is natural to experience a period of time during which it is more important to rest and leave the responsibilities of life unattended. Ongoing grief can make daily activities feel impossible, creating complications in work, home, relationships, and other areas of life. Varying stages of grief can have varying levels of intensity, meaning even in recovery from grief there may be challenging days. If there are no lifeskills left to rely upon to get out of bed and perform necessary daily functions, grief has become an unmanageable mental health concern.
Substance Abuse Is A Way To Cope
Drugs and alcohol promise relief from grieving, offering escapism into a euphoric fantasyland of analgesia and forgetfulness where loss didn’t occur. On the other side of every drunk and high is reality, where loss still occurred. Turning to drugs and alcohol to avoid the reality of loss or the process of grief is a common unhealthy coping mechanism. If substance abuse becomes a disruptive issue, it is a sign that grief has gone on untreated for too long.
Chronic Toxic Guilt
Guilt is a useful tool for self-examination and adjustment in order to learn important lessons. Toxic guilt is when normal guilt evolves beyond its usefulness, instead transforming into a debilitating internal narrative. Feeling responsible for loss, recounting ways which could have prevented loss, and feeling remorse for not having been the source of loss, are common ways guilt becomes toxic during grief. Toxic guilt can turn to reality, which indicates disordered thinking.
There is an end to grief. One day, you can cope with the reality of your loss while continuing to live your life. Cottonwood Tucson is an industry leader in clinical treatment for co-occurring disorders. Grief and loss are often co-occurring with chemical dependency, depression, or compulsive issues. Our residential behavioral health treatment programs offer safety and understanding while providing hope and healing through an integrative approach. For information, call us today by dialing (800) 877-4520.