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Addressing Complicated Bereavement in Teenagers

Addressing Complicated Bereavement in Teenagers

Encountering feelings of loss and sadness is a universal experience we all undergo following the death of a loved one. Grief can overcome people for weeks and even months before they’re able to accept their loss and move forward. In some instances, teenagers who are grieving may find it difficult to resolve their feelings and move on, which can disrupt daily living.

Although most bereaved individuals experience mild to moderate depression while grieving, approximately 10-20% experience complicated bereavement. If you suspect your teenage son or daughter may be experiencing complicated grief reactions, it’s important to provide support and get them the help they need.

Here are signs of complicated grief to look out for:

  • Deep, unbearable sadness over an extended period.
  • Irregular sleep patterns or insomnia.
  • Irritability and withdrawal from social activities.
  • Distracted performance at school and a loss of interest in academics and hobbies.
  • Worsening of preexisting mental conditions, such as major depressive disorder.

Beyond a certain point, none of these behaviors are healthy for teenagers and although complicated grief is not a clinical disorder, it’s a serious condition that can severely affect their mental health. By seeking help through teen treatment centers like Teen Depression, your teenager can get the support they need as they begin the healing process.

Through therapy and our personalized treatment programs, we believe teenagers can work through their grief and tackle underlying issues behind their condition, as we equip them with tools to better handle similar situations as they mature into adults.

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NOTE: If you suspect that a teenager is at suicide risk, please take immediate action.

For 24/7 suicide support and prevention in the U.S., you may call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at +1-800-273-8255 or dial 911.

If you are not from the U.S., you may visit for more information regarding suicide awareness and support.