Teen Grief and Loss Treatment

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Grief and loss are a fundamental part of life. Everyone must eventually deal with the loss of a loved one, and grieving after the loss is a healthy and natural process. The pain of loss can feel like it will never go away, especially for the young, but eventually we must all pick up the pieces and move on with our lives. When grief lingers and becomes unhealthy, it can turn into depression.

Major depression is a serious health risk for anyone. It prevents people from functioning in their daily lives and increases the risk of substance abuse and suicide. Depression also responds to treatment – Sovereign Health’s residential treatment center for adolescents aged 12 to 17 in Rancho San Diego provides troubled teens a safe, friendly environment to find new ways to move past their problems and into a happier life.

Grief and Loss

They might not know it by name, but most people are familiar with the Kubler-Ross model of grief. It divides up grief into five specific emotional stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. While it makes for a handy way to outline a person’s journey through the process, grief is actually far more complicated.

Every loss is a unique experience, and grief isn’t experienced the same way by everyone. Some teens might respond to the loss of a friend or loved one with the expected tears and sadness; another might laugh and tell jokes as a way of expressing their grief. However disconcerting that might be for the people around them, it’s important for everyone – particularly adults – to realize that there’s no wrong way to grieve.

That said, sometimes the idea of a life without a person – or several persons – can be too much for some to bear. Recently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, has identified persistent complex bereavement disorder as a condition for further study. The disorder involves the symptoms of grief in children lasting for more than six months.

More dangerously, grief also drives some people to make poor choices. Some people cope by turning to alcohol or other substances for relief – yes, a stiff drink can help a person calm down, but the psychological and physical effects of alcohol are also what make it addictive. Substance abuse is a serious health problem for anyone, but for a teen still in school, it’s even more so. Alcohol can be radically more toxic in a younger body, and depression, grief and alcohol can drive an adolescent into risky, dangerous behavior.

Symptoms of grief management problems

According to Mayo Clinic, grief symptoms can include:

  • Prolonged depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in diet
  • An inability to function normally in school
  • A loss of interest in activities and friends

Red flags of serious grief management problems

Mayo Clinic advises seeking help when a person manifests symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty in moving beyond loss
  • Anger and bitterness about the loss
  • Powerful longing about the deceased
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Statements that life is meaningless

What causes problems with grief management?

The causes of grief after a loss are obvious – the person who has gone away is missed, and that hurts. The causes of complicated, prolonged grief, on the other hand, are much less clear. Many of them may relate to depression, which is itself a complicated disease with mental and biological causes and symptoms. Studies have shown depressed brains are structured differently from regular brains, and there can be genetic, environmental and familial causes that make some people more susceptible toward depression.

Getting help for grief management problems

Depression and feelings of perpetual loss are miserable, and unlike a temporary bad mood depression is a deep hole to climb out of. Some people need extra help. Sovereign Health’s residential facility for adolescents provides troubled teens a safe, welcoming place to recover and find new ways of looking at themselves and their world. It’s an environment free from distraction, which allows our patients to interact with others going through the same challenges.

Sovereign takes a holistic view of everyone under its care. We recognize our patients are individuals, young and old alike, and our treatment is geared to heal them in body and mind. We use traditional methods like psychotherapy to give our patients new skills and help them learn more about themselves. We also use alternative methods such as yoga to allow patients to find their own ways into a healthier life.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

A premiere provider of mental health with facilities nationwide, Sovereign Health should be your first choice as a care provider for your adolescent:

  • Our facility in Rancho San Diego is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the largest medical standards-setting organization in the United States
  • Rancho San Diego is a gated, secure residential treatment center with round-the-clock crisis intervention
  • Our environment is safe, friendly and welcoming, staffed by compassionate individuals fully committed to your child’s recovery

A healthier life starts today. Please contact our 24/7 helpline for more information on our mental health treatment programs.

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Sovereign Health offers comprehensive and high-quality treatment programming for substance abuse and mental health. Call our 24/7 helpline at any time to reach our admissions team.

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