Experiencing grief & loss can create some of the most emotionally distressing feelings one can have and unfortunately is an unavoidable part of life. Whether loss occurs as part of maturation, a child struggling with time away from attachment figures as they transition into school, or extreme loss that may come with an unexpected death of a love one, grieving becomes a recurrent part of life. The intensity and extent of loss experienced is highly individualized and varies between people as it is based upon an infinite number of factors. Given the significance and continual presence of loss the importance of well developed coping skills becomes essential.
“Consider the end of a relationship, job loss, missing out on an opportunity, or disappointment of any kind and how it influences each one of us differently” states Dr. Gerald Grosso, Clinical Director at Nsight Psychology and Addiction. There are those who can move forward appearing relatively undisturbed while others may experience extreme anxiety, depression, helplessness, and hopelessness. Trouble managing loss and moving through the grieving process can contribute to the development of maladaptive coping skills often associated with addiction. It may present in chemical dependency, alcoholism, or in behaviorally in gambling, sex, video games, and sometimes work addiction. The degree of dysfunction becomes evident in the gradual withdrawal from relationships and avoidance of the emotional issues that are causing the distress. The more engaged one becomes in the addiction the more harmful it becomes. Most often the loss experienced is the core issue and transcends into another problem which is the addiction. Without well developed coping skills problems increase over time and the management of future losses becomes more difficult.