Grief & Loss

We all need help to process and let go in a healthy way

Grief & Loss: What You Need to Know

When we hear the terms “grief” and “loss” we often connect them with death or dying. The loss of a loved one is certainly a cause for grief, but it can also pertain to major life changes including the loss of a relationship or experiencing a serious illness. While the loss of someone or something important to you is painful and evokes incredible sadness, the impact varies according to the circumstances of the loss and the support given or not given at the time. Grief is natural, but it can leave us stuck if we aren’t able to process it appropriately.

By the time someone enters young adulthood, the most common losses experienced are that of a pet or grandparent. For some young adults, the loss of a sibling or parent has already occurred, whether through an accident, sudden or prolonged illness, suicide, or even homicide. Many of those struggling with addiction have witnessed someone overdose or lost a friend to substance abuse. Though often not intentional, the support needed to attend to the pain and confusion of these losses may not have been available, leaving the young adult with intense emotions and an inability to cope.

Effects of Grief & Loss

A lack of a healthy support system during a loss can create further trauma during this vulnerable time. Many young adults are left to sort out anger about their loss on their own, often acting out in self-defeating ways. Some may become depressed. Others isolate and struggle to make future meaningful connections for fear of future losses.

Experiencing a loss at a time in your life when you are developing your sense of worth and finding your way as a young adult creates a lot of confusion and pain. Without help to process those emotions, it can fuel unhealthy behaviors including alcoholism and other addictions.

Symptoms include the following:

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Inability to make meaningful connections
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Increased doctor’s visits
  • Difficulty in social and academic settings

The Stats on Grief & Loss

  • Most people experience the death of a loved one by the time they reach college age, according to a survey by the US Department of Education.
  • 3% of college students having experienced a loss within their extended family and 60% having experienced the loss of a friend.
  • Approximately 3.5% of young adults have lost a parent prior to age 18, according to the Social Security Administration, 2000.
  • Nearly 8% of those under age 25 have lost a sibling.

Despite the prevalence of loss experienced by young adults, and the potential for lasting issues caused by their grief responses, this age group has received relatively limited attention in the form of studies or research.

According to a report titled “Complicated Grief & Depression in Young Adults,” 81.3% of college students having experienced a loss within their extended family and 60% having experienced the loss of a friend.

Treating Grief & Loss

Being forced to find your way through the grieving process at such a pivotal time in your life can leave lasting scars. It can create a lot of confusion and pain if you have to process those emotions without help or guidance.  


We utilize experiential therapies including neurofeedback, mindfulness practices, equine-assisted psychotherapy, challenge courses, trauma-informed psychodrama, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing to address these issues. Our evidence-based treatment approach has proven effective in helping individuals process and overcome emotional trauma, including trauma from adoption or abandonment.

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Help for Grief & Loss

Grief and loss can have a range of adverse effects on a young adult’s life if they are not addressed. The Claudia Black Young Adult Center can help individuals suffering from trauma, substance use, or mental health conditions related to grief and loss. We offer a comprehensive treatment program that focuses on healing the whole person, and our experienced staff looks forward to helping you begin your healing journey. 

Flowers at Claudia Black Center


Our experienced, compassionate Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. Let our specialists help you create a road map to get you where you want to go: a healthier, more balanced, fulfilling place in life. When you call, you’ll be led through a series of questions to determine if the Claudia Black Young Adult Center is the right fit for your needs, and how soon your treatment can begin.

If you are interested in treatment for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out our convenient Admissions form!




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