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Long-Term Effects of Losing a Parent as a Teenager

Teen sitting on couch experiencing depression as one of the long term effects of losing a parent

Losing a parent is one of the most difficult experiences that anyone can go through, and when it happens during adolescence, the impact can be particularly severe. Teenagers who lose a parent must grapple with many emotional, psychological, and practical challenges, which can have long-term effects that extend well into adulthood.

Seeking support from Imagine Spokane can be crucial in helping teens deal with the long-term effects of losing a parent. If you know someone experiencing the psychological effects of losing a parent, let us help. Call 509.870.3810 today to learn more about grief and loss therapy and start the path toward healing.

Psychological Effects of Losing a Parent

The loss of a parent during adolescence can trigger various psychological effects, many of which can persist for years or even decades after the event. Perhaps the most common of these is depression, as teenagers struggle to process the tragedy and come to terms with the full extent of their grief. Anxiety and fear are common, as teenagers may experience heightened uncertainty and insecurity about their future. Additionally, self-esteem may diminish, as teenagers may feel a sense of abandonment or undeserved guilt for the loss of a parent.

Stages of Grief for a Teen Losing a Parent

The stages of grief for a teen after losing a parent are very similar to those that adults go through, but they can be amplified by the additional pressures and responsibilities that teenagers face daily. The first stage is often denial, as teenagers may initially struggle to accept the reality of the situation. Anger and bargaining may arise as teenagers seek ways to cope with despair and hopelessness. Depression and isolation are also common in the aftermath of a loss, as teenagers may withdraw from social situations and become more introspective. Finally, teenagers adjust to their new reality, reaching acceptance and a new normal.

Long-Term Effects of Losing a Parent

The long-term effects of losing a parent can be far-reaching and significant. In addition to the psychological effects already discussed, teenagers can experience economic and financial impacts, particularly if the deceased parent was the primary breadwinner. This can add pressure and stress as teenagers navigate the complexities of managing their finances. Additionally, teenagers who have lost a parent may have difficulty with romantic relationships and trust, as they may fear additional loss and abandonment.

Grief and Loss Therapy

Fortunately, for teenagers struggling with the loss of a parent, grief, and loss therapy can provide support and guidance. Grief and loss therapy is a specialized form of therapy that helps individuals cope with the pain and trauma of loss, enabling them to process their emotions and develop coping mechanisms. Through individual and group therapy, individuals can develop a supportive network to facilitate the healing process and help them move forward.

Seek Solace with Grief and Loss therapy at Imagine Spokane

If you or someone you love has lost a parent as a teenager, Imagine Spokane can help. Our program provides services designed to support teens who have lost a family member. Through our PHP and IOP programs, we provide trauma-informed care, medication management, and educational advocacy and offer a range of therapeutic interventions, including family therapy, CBT, DBT, and trauma therapy. We also offer grief and loss therapy to support individuals as they navigate the challenging journey of loss.

At Imagine Spokane, we are here to help and encourage anyone struggling with the trauma of losing a parent to reach out to us. We offer support and guidance for young people experiencing life challenges and mental health issues. Call 509.870.3810 or complete our web form to get started today.