Studies with depressed teens show they had more stressful life events / losses in the year prior to their being depressed. Some mood disorders may, in fact, be precipitated by a loss.

Grieving a loss is a lot of work and takes time.  It is important, though, for teens to work through the grief process so healing can occur.  It is also important that they get support to do this.  For instance, many teens have benefitted from being involved in grief support groups where they are with other teens who have experienced similar losses. Other ways to support teens who are grieving can be found at the Cincinnati Children's Bereavement Support page.

It is normal for teens to experience temporary difficulty in functioning at school or in social situations after a loss. However, when symptoms of depression persist for longer than two months, the child should be evaluated by a professional. It is important to respect a teen’s right to grieve or mourn the loss of a loved one, which is explained in the Mourners Bill of Rights for children and teens. There is no time limit for grieving. It may take years for some teens to resolve, accept or forgive the loss. In fact, children may often revisit sadness over their losses through the years.  Unresolved grief, however, causes one to be less able to cope. 

There are four major theories about the stages of grieving. No one theory, however, adequately explains everyone’s experience with grief since the grief process is fairly complex and personal. In reality, people do not simply progress from one stage to the next.  Instead, they may move back and forth, experience more than one stage at a time, or move through the stages in a different order.  Nevertheless, many people who are grieving a loss will identify with some of the stages described in any one of the theories. For instance, one family found that many of the stages of the Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief applied to their own experience of losing their 19-year-old son and brother in a motorcycle accident.  Although this theory was created to explain the stages of grief for a dying person, some of its stages can be applied to those who are grieving a loss of a loved one as well, which is illustrated in the below examples.