Teen Grief

1000px x 1000px – teen grief
The teen years are an especially difficult time to deal with the loss as young people are torn between independence and the need now for support from parents and family. Teens feel very conflicted and their feelings may be very intense at times which feels even more overwhelming.
Signs of Grief in Teens:
  • lack of concentration
  • shock, numbness
  • avoidance and retreat
  • constant thoughts of the loss
  • jealousy aimed at those who have what you do not
  • anger
  • self blame
  • confusion and feeling disoriented, feeling in a fog
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • declining grades (ask a teacher to help you , ask a friend to help too, as this becomes another loss)
  • loss of interest in usual activities
  • over-activity, acting too busy (to block out pain)
  • wanting to be alone a lot
  • deep sadness
  • drug and/or alcohol use or abuse
  • eating too much or too little (eating disorders)
  • risk taking behavior (especially when guilt is involved, like in an accident that another teen was involved in)
  • self destructive, anti-social or criminal behavior (cutting)
  • promiscuity  (often teens tell me they really only wanted someone to hold and comfort them. Be careful now as you are vulnerable)
  • thinking about suicide (talk to a trusted adult)
  • somatic manifestations of grief (stomach upsets, headaches, fatigue, symptoms similar to the deceased prior symptoms)

Healing looks like:

  • reorganizing life, gaining new insights, learning new skills
  • feeling peace with the past
  • wanting to be alone and quiet (be careful not to isolate)
  • increased sense of inner strength and ability to listen to others
  • increased empathy for others’ feelings
  • reconnection, resiliency and hope for the for the future

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