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Overwhelming Grief From Loss of Child Can Cause Substance Abuse in Women
Date:1/16/2009

SEYMOUR, Tenn., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- When a child is born the lives of parents are changed forever. Their lives become centered around the safety, happiness and success of this new person. Plans are made for their future, and days are spent thinking about soccer practice carpools, piano recitals and college tuition payments. But what happens when that future tragically disappears? Experts from Brookhaven Retreat, a multidisciplinary treatment facility that helps women overcome emotional trauma and addiction challenges, say that the death of a child is one of the darkest and most traumatic losses imaginable and can lead to substance abuse, particularly in women.

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Grief, regardless of how it manifests itself, is a unique personal experience for everyone. Grieving over the loss of a loved one, especially a child, is a normal response. However, there are times when that grief causes a person to become physically or emotionally ill to the extent they are simply unable to cope with their pain, complete the simplest of tasks or heal in a healthy way.

"People experience a wide range of emotions after the loss of a child such as guilt, disbelief, or anger, which can manifest into the inability to eat or sleep," said Jacqueline Dawes, owner and founder of Brookhaven Retreat. "In women, these feelings can be so overwhelming they feel the need to turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain."

Dawes founded Brookhaven Retreat after the sad loss of her 18-year-old daughter. Having struggled with the resulting grief and a subsequent divorce from her husband of 25 years, Dawes relocated to east Tennessee with her son. After fully recovering from the emotional breakage she had suffered, Dawes decided to set up a recovery center for other women w
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SOURCE Brookhaven Retreat
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