Loss in Adolescents

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Grief and loss in Adolescent years
Introduction
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Most people go through these five stages of grief when dying. Imagine going through it as an adolescent they have just come to accept death in its whole, however still associate it with the elderly. How will the family cope no parent wants to outlive their child.

The aim of this essay is to discuss how myself as a nurse would apply new knowledge on the selected criteria when caring for my patient and their family. The main criteria being Kubler-Ross’s theory on the five stage of grief ant the experiences of adolescents who are dying from a terminal illness.

This essay discusses my care for the adolescent and their family using the C.A.R.E. model.

Experience of grief and loss with dying in adolescent years
Adolescence has been defined by the World Health Organization as the phase between 11 to 19 years of age (“Sexual and reproductive health,” 2013). This age group also comes into Piaget’s four stages of development. Piaget’s fourth stage of development is formal operation. This stage represents children aged 11 and above. Piaget writes that children in this stage have the capacity to understand the concept of death in its entirety. Still, in this stage and for many years to come, death is only somewhat accepted. It is a detached acknowledgement of something that exists in the future and is accepted as being in the domain of the old (Freeman, 2005, p. 116).

Kubler-Ross theory on grief and loss
Before the 1970s, death was treated as taboo. One of the main influences on changing attitudes towards death was the work of a thanatologist (expert in studying death) named Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Her book On Death and Dying (1969) was a monumental publication, signifying a new era of open discussion on the topic.

Kubler-Ross identified five stages in the attitudes of terminally ill patients denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance...
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