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What Are Five Types Of Loss That Can Cause Grief?

What Are Five Types Of Loss That Can Cause Grief?

Loss is a universal experience an unavoidable part of being human. When a young person experiences loss, it is emoted through grief, which is defined as deep sorrow. Loss is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as “the fact or process of losing something or someone.” The more significant the loss, the more intensely grief is experienced. Children who endure major loss are likely to grieve differently than adults. There are many different types of loss that can cause grief. The most common five types of loss that can cause a young person to experience grief include:

  • Loss of a loved one: the death of a loved one (e.g., parent, sibling, friend, or even pet) regardless of whether it was expected or not, can provoke a teen’s grief.
  • Illness/ loss of health: a challenging diagnosis that may affect a young person’s physiological abilities can cause him or her to experience grief.
  • Moving: moving to a new home is a big change that is commonly accompanied by loss for young people, as they are forced to grieve the loss of their home. 
  • Loss of a personal dream: when certain factors occur that may illuminate and contribute to the impossibility of achieving one’s dreams, it can be crushing for a teen. 
  • Divorce: divorce can cause a child to experience the same stages of grief as the adults going through the divorce. With a divorce, the family dynamic is greatly affected while it shifts from normal functioning through the stages of divorce. This, in turn, leads an adolescent to be faced with grieving the loss of what was once his or her unified family. 

The American Counseling Association explains that “grief is an inevitable, never-ending process that results from permanent or temporary disruptions in a routine, a separation, or a change in a relationship that may be beyond the person’s control.” While experiencing grief after a loss is healthy and natural, grief does have a physiological effect on teens. Young people who have experienced loss often present with a range of feelings. The Mayo Clinic provides examples of typical symptoms of grief, some of which include: 

  • Changes in one’s diet
  • Social isolation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hypervigilance 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Challenges at school 
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed pastimes
  • Anger
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal ideation

If a young person’s symptoms are prolonged and interfere with his or her ability to function optimally in his or her daily life, it may be advantageous to consult a mental health professional for guidance. 

For Information and Support

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, in the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


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