On Being‘s blog draws a link between “complicated grief ” (a potential new DSM-V diagnosis) and addiction.
UCLA researchers found that grief over losing a loved one can take an extreme form of bereavement, stimulating the part of the brain normally associated with reward and addiction. This is called “complicated grief” and the name alone gives more weight and depth to our varied experiences of loss.
I’m more and more convinced that addiction is the result of multiple neurobiological factors and trauma shares some of those factors. There are so many parallels when listening to an addict discuss their first experience with their primary drug and trauma survivors describe their traumatic experience—multisensory details, their instrusive nature, the emotional arousal and its resistance to cognitive challenges.