Has Grief become an unhealthy habit or is it an addiction ?

I unexpectedly lost my soulmate of 28 years about 9 1/2 months ago…no warning…no known illness. Since then, I’ve often jotted down my thoughts…and what follows is one such line of query…probably not the conventional writing you usually find on grief sites such as Sure Ryder’s.
In some ways, maybe grief is addicting in similar ways that opioids or illicit drugs can be.

Once Grief has you in its grip, it wants to rule you. It doesn’t want to let go. Crying produces endorphins…chemicals that help make you feel good or at least better. This is the addictive part of grief… If you try to escape the tentacles of Grief, indescribable pain starts rising…excruciating arrows of pain shoot through your body and brain stemming from some undisclosed place deep inside of you….silent screams of anguish try to get out and make themselves heard. You ask, why can’t I stop this torture ? A mental torture that has become a physical one. Grief controls every aspect of you, your mind and your body. You didn’t ask for it…you don’t want to feel it ever again….but Grief is tenacious……it has you captive in its grasp….it wants to keep you in its private torture chamber sending out endorphins (your tears) to keep you wanting to come back despite the agony.

Is Grief addicting or a habit ? ….a habit that a person grieving can’t put aside. Does Grief bring some form of comfort or solace ? Does it make the person grieving feel it’s something they need or should be doing after the loss of a dearly loved one ? There are many maybes after losing a loved one……but, NO. Grief takes on a life form of its own. Your mind and body become taken over by this all-powerful destructive sensation……feelings that you cannot control no matter how hard you try. So…YES, in some ways, Grief is addicting……like an addictive drug, Grief has its own powers of addiction….and if you allow it, it will destroy you both mentally and physically.

So, unless you want to dishonor all what you and your loved one so carefully crafted during your time together, you have to break out of this destructive ‘habit/addiction’ …this destructive Grief that rules you and is consuming you and threatening the very existence that you wish to preserve… You have to find ways to validate that your time together wasn’t in vain….that your beloved’s soul lives on in you and your actions. Breathe in deeply and allow the spirit/soul of your loved one to become a part of you again, so that together once more you can break out of this vicious destructive cycle of what seems like endless grief. With your combined strength and willpower you can find new ways to continue what you started together all those years ago.


Dear @Pipsi

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the Community.

Take Care.


@Pipsi dear pipsi thank you for sharing. You have given me a lot to think about my dear friend. Take care much love and hugs xxx

Hi Pipsi
You comments are most interesting. In the early days I called my grief the Grief Monster and this monster was controlling me. I don’t like being controlled so I probably have fought it throughout my loss. I am at last beginning to feel that I have kicked this ‘thing’ out of my life. Of course I still grieve and have my sad days but I am more in control now and I don’t fear the tears anymore because I decide when and how I want to remember…


thanks for addressing this important tangent.

I feel same.

it took over me, only child, dead parents. last five years I am a sunken battle ship. this post
suggests I need to recover myself though my love - grief warranted. good to be soulful but meanwhile, I got a lot older.

This has really helped me, thank you

In some ways I disagree but know this is a narrative which is big over in America at the moment where the aap are trying to get anyone seen as suffering grief after a year being classed a mental health illness.

I think it is very dangerous to but time frames on grief - everyone’s timeline and circumstances are different. For certain some people get stuck in complex grief and they need help, but I don’t like the thought of anyone in that position further feel they are being medicalised or told they have failed at “getting better”

I think places like this can help people support one another and recognise when they are in the grip of a very destructive grief or a wallow rut but I am not a big fan of trying to slap a label on it

Just my two pence worth


Dear Pattidot, Thanks for your words. Happy to hear that YOU are in control and not your Monster. Of course, grief will always be a part of your life because of the loss you experienced. Take care…Pipsi

Dear Berit, So sorry to hear you lost your parents…but, yes…we do all get older and not always wiser. Take care…Pipsi

Dear SueMa, Happy to hear the post helped you. Take care…Pipsi

Dear Beki, Many thanks for your input. The only reason they’re trying to get longterm grief classified as a mental illness in the US, is so they can get health insurance to pay for it. Healthcare in the US isn’t what it used to be. Re. a timeline for grief…of course each person has a different one…and I agree that labels are neither good or useful. Take care…Pipsi

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:thinking: This certainly does not reflect my personal experience of coping with grief. I found on this site helped me tremendously to work out where I was mentally, together with excellent counselling through Sue Ryder. I’m glad this analyses of grief was not one offered. I personally would have felt a negative impact on my mental health.


I quote:

'Grief is love’s conjoined twin. Without love, there would be no grief.

And if love is not a disorder, illness or diagnosis, neither is grief.

Grief is normal and It’s simply love after loss.
Because love doesn’t end, neither does grief.’

Grief cannot and should not, be compared to habit nor addiction. Both those things are disorders. Grief is not a disorder.


no one is safe here either … everyone gotta argue! gee …

all she is suggesting is that do not let grief CONSUME the rest of your life.

Dear Stargazer, I’m so happy you were able to find ways to deal with your grief through this Sue Ryder site. That’s great. This being said, I just wanted to put a different way of looking at grief and grieving out there because, as YOU know everyone perceives and tries to cope with grief and grieving differently. Take care…Pipsi

Dear Crazy Kate, Your poem is great. Did you compose it ? I agree that love is not a disorder or illness…but grief is composed of so many negative feelings that, unlike love which is uplifting, it can consume you and destroy you. Also, if you read scientific articles online about tears, you will no doubt find that tears from grief are different to other kinds of tears… they are made up of different bits and pieces and they do bring feelings of relief as they do release endorphins. Yes…grief is very normal after the loss of a loved one…and the resulting grief is too. Oh, by the way, I didn’t know habits were disorders.
Thanks for your input…take care…Pipsi

Thank you Berit, you got it. Pipsi

I grieve for the man I love, I grieve for the future I no longer have with him, I grieve for the future he no longer has. Pipsi states breathe in deeply and allow the spirit/soul of your loved one to become part of you again so you can break out of the vicious circle of what seems like endless grief.

My husband has always been part of me whether in life or in death and how on earth can we continue what we started together all those years ago when he is not here by my side.

Grieving for my husband will never, ever dishonour our years together, as far as I am concerned the only thing that would dishonour our life together is for me to move on and never give him a moments thought ever again and that will never happen as long as I live.

I grieve because I loved him with all of my heart, and why on earth would I look for ways to validate that our time together was not in vain, of course it wasn’t in vain.

I don’t care how much strength and willpower I can find, I will never, ever again be able to continue what we started all those years ago because he is not here to continue it with me.

As far as I am concerned, grief is because we loved with all of our heart, nothing more and nothing less and I will grieve forever.


Pretty much what lonely has said .

My love for Mandy will never ever end she died 3.5 weeks ago , I’m still in a strong state of grieving and I agree I CANT do what we wanted as she’s never ever coming back .
I don’t really believe she can live through me , she wanted our soul to be rejoined in death .
We simply must try and get on with a life , a one we all never chose , I’ve got to form a life whether I like it or not but it will be what I want it to be , I may find love again , I may not but I will never stop loving my life I had with her . I won’t ever move on in time unless I don’t let Mandy consume me , if she does I will be forever in trouble .
I respect your point though , it may work for some but not me .


Dear Lonely, Many thanks for your response. Of course you and everyone else who has lost a loved one grieves…that’s only natural. I don’t believe in the phrase’ to move on/forward’ when it comes to grieving. Your grief will always be there to a more or lesser extent…as a friend said, maybe we can learn to live alongside our grief. Also…I don’t believe that our loved one would want us to be ruled by our grief but would want us to find ways to somehow continue what’s left of our lives. Again…thank you for your thoughts…Pipsi

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