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Grief is a mix of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, frustration, fear and anxiety that occurs whenever we experience a loss or are anticipating a loss.
Grief: the process of experiencing the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual responses to loss or the perception of loss.
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:
Healing looks like:
Techniques for Grief Work:
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WARNING to TEENS: Grief + Substances can = Death
Don't become a statistic:
If you are struggling with substances, cutting, eating disorders, depression, anxiety or anything that is destructive to your well being please speak to a safe adult. If you have no one to talk to or if you need to speak to someone in the middle of the night or when no one is around: call: 2nd Floor 180 Turning Lives Around: NJ Hotline for Youth ages 10-24 years old: 1-888-222-2228 www.2NDFLOOR.org
If you live with someone struggling with substance abuse: contact:
Al-anon Family Groups: 973-744-8686 www.northjerseyal-anon.org
Alateen: ages 13-19 whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking. Same contact info as above.
When I go into high schools I ask students to ask anonymous questions about grief and loss on index cards that I give out. They are also allowed to share a loss situation as well. Here are some of the cards I get.
My dog died and he was my best friend.
How do I help my friend who always talks about his mom dying? I don't know how to make him stop crying.
Why must the good die young?
Is it okay to love my stepfather more than my real dad?
I am always stressed and angry what do I do to make it stop?
I don't like to cry about my aunt who died in front of my parents. Is that normal?
My friend is cutting and I don't know what to do.
My grandfather died last year. I was sad in the beginning but now I don't feel anything. Is that bad?
My grandma died last year and I barely cried but I want to.
My friend makes herself sick and I'm worried because it's almost been a year of her doing that.
I think my is bi-polar, but I'm scared to talk to her about it.
How do you get passed the pain of divorce and how can you get rid of the pain?
My brother does a lot of bad things and he doesn't realize that if affects me but I am scared for him.
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