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COPING WITH GRIEF AND LOSS

There is an abundance of challenges during one’s adolescent stage of life. The transitions, growth, and maturation process can be exciting but also painful and difficult.

General Information

A young person that is faced with the loss of a loved one, the grief, coupled with the natural trials and tribulations of adolescence can be emotionally crippling, when not properly managed. According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), there is mention of a specific disorder, persistent complex bereavement disorder, that is described as a young person who experiences intense symptoms of debilitating grief that does not dissipate in the months following the loss, lasting beyond twelve months.

Grief will manifest in each teen differently, as there is no single way to grieve. A young person may exhibit extreme sadness, excessive crying, or laughing as a of processing the loss of a loved one. The wide range of how teens may respond to grief is essential for an adult to be mindful of and respect. Experiencing grief after a loved one has passed is healthy and natural. The emotions connected to the loss of a loved one may never fully dissipate for a young person. There does, however come a time that a teen must manage his or her grief and move forward in his or her life. If, after time, a young person is unable manage his or her grief and it remains or becomes debilitating, it can lead to depression or other mental health disorders.

Signs & Symptoms

Any person that loses a loved one will experience symptoms of grief. This is a normal part of life and growth. Though each teen is different, there are some common symptoms that can arise in a young person who has difficulty with grief management. Below are some of the typical symptoms:

• Changes in one’s diet
• Social isolation
• Sleep disturbances
• Hyper vigilance
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Challenges at school
• Loss of interest in extracurricular activities
• Anger
• Mood swings
• Agitation
• Irritability
• Suicidal ideation

Going through life as a teenager is challenging enough, without adding grief and loss and the various symptoms that can accompany. Many of the above symptoms can be normal reactions to the loss of a loved one. If, however, the symptoms are prolonged and are inhibiting a teenager’s ability to function in his or her everyday life, it may be time to pursue outside help.

Treatment

Treatment for a young person dealing with excessive grief is beneficial for numerous reasons. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we carefully take into account each of our resident’s specific needs and create personalized treatment plans accordingly. Depending on the young person’s specific treatment plan, we offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy, individual talk therapy, and group therapy. In many cases, we will use a range of therapeutic modalities during different periods of one’s treatment.

It is essential for a teen to feel comfortable in his or her environment during his or her recovery process, which is why we have an excellent facility. For teenagers suffering from grief, it is imperative to practice healthy daily living activities. We encourage regular exercise coupled with proper eating habits. We also find it helpful for our residents to engage in various relaxation methods such as yoga and or meditation. The tools and coping mechanisms that are taught to help a young person learn to manage and deal with his or her grief at Pacific Teen Treatment will be useful throughout one’s entire life.

Further Information

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. In order 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 is in need of 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, long term. Seeking 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.

Our knowledgeable admissions team can be reached 24/7 at info@pacificrtc.com  or call: (800) 531-5769

We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.