Drinking Wine To Cope With Loss And Grief

The 2017 Wine Conference tackled various topics on the wine economy, from trade and production to wine identity and profiling customers. Wine drinkers typically enjoy wine in social drinking settings; however, alcohol is also infamous for its link to loss and grief.


While some may deal with loss in healthy ways, others don’t. A licensed professional at BetterHelp believes that people affected by life-changing events such as the death of a loved one may turn to drink wine to cope with death. To them, death may feel like the end of their connection and relationship. This loss causes a sense of deep grief, especially when you lose someone profoundly important to you.

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It can be even more devastating to lose someone with whom you shared a rocky relationship. After their death, tying up loose ends becomes impossible. Not only are you left with loss and grief but also regrets of how you could have made things better.

Alcohol And Its Connection To Loss and Grief

Wine is an alcoholic drink, and alcohol is a depressant. It slows down the brain and central nervous system, making it harder for an individual to process emotions. It alters your mood, behavior, and cognitive functioning. It ruins your overall health in a lot of ways. 

The alcohol in wine binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. High levels of GABA produce relaxation and sedation. Alcohol also signals the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that influences feelings of pleasure and reward. It’s not a surprise why many people use wine to deal with grief and loss. These changes inside the body caused by alcohol causes people to seek more wine and other alcoholic beverages to increase positive feelings and forget the pain.

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Coping With Loss And Grief

While having a drink or two is okay, entirely relying on wine and other alcoholic beverages to cope is not healthy. In fact, it can even lead to more problems in the long run. You cannot keep on suppressing your emotions with wine. The following are some advice you can follow to cope with loss and grief healthily:

  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Don’t be afraid of your feelings and grieve
  • Take care of yourself
  • Talk to someone (with your friend, family, or by joining a support group).
  • Be mindful of what you consume
  • Don’t give yourself a deadline

Excessively drinking wine to cope is undoubtedly not something your loved one wants you to do. Feelings of grief and loss are normal, and you should embrace them until you can let go in your own time. If in case you need help, consult a specialist.

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