Depressed because someone broke your heart? (7 ways to cope)

From the article below, you will understand how to cope with depression when someone broke your heart. 

Depressed because heartbroken?

If you are depressed because your partner or crush broke your heart, do not worry my friend. Your time of betterment has just begun. A heartbreak is quite painful. It makes an individual mentally numb. But a heartbreak can also become the foundation of rejuvenation. When the individual realizes the value of their own selves, their own company and starts loving themselves, it becomes easier for them to get over the depression. 

Understand depression 

Before you try to seek professional help, understand exactly what you are going through.

Depression is a mood disorder in which normal functioning of an individual slows down and may become null if left untreated. 

One of the most critical factors a person experiences in depression is lack of self-worth and excessive worry. The patient is trapped in a cycle of excessive worry about the past, present and future. They are quite doubtful about their potentials and suffer from constant conflict about their own self worth. This doubt is inescapable and much more pervasive than the normal worries most of us experience over life’s stressors.

They are also very critical about people around them and their own selves. Those suffering from high-functioning depression are often their own worst critics, and it’s difficult to turn that criticism off.

Lack of energy and anhedonia is another critical symptom that cannot be overlooked. “For the past 7 years, I have had the smallest flickering of emotions, what I feel on a daily basis is practically nil. I have no desires to truly speak of, as nothing I do is rewarding or satisfying.” This is exactly how anhedonia feels. 

In Greek, anhedonia directly translates to “without pleasure.” It is a condition where one does not find anything interesting. They have a lack of motivation, satisfaction and interest in anything.

The symptoms of anhedonia include:

  • social withdrawal
  • a lack of relationships or withdrawal from previous relationships
  • negative feelings toward yourself and others
  • reduced emotional abilities, including having less verbal or nonverbal expressions
  • difficulty adjusting to social situations
  • a tendency toward showing fake emotions, such as pretending you’re happy at a wedding
  • a loss of libido or a lack of interest in physical intimacy
  • persistent physical problems, such as being sick often

Difference in brain activity especially in the prefrontal cortex is found to be a neurological cause behind anhedonia. Research states, this area of the brain is overactive in people with anhedonia. 

A few studies show that a part of the basal ganglia called the nucleus accumbens has been referred to as the “pleasure center”. Other brain areas involved are the striatum ( responsible for reward system) and the insula (consciousness and self-awareness).

Neurotransmitters like dopamine, GABA and Cytokine are considered responsible for anhedonia.

Genetic inheritance may be a cause behind your partner’s depression which he has not got any control over. Genes are not the only factor responsible though. Other than genetic inheritance, an individual’s experiences,environment and perceptions plays an important part as well.

One might experience stressors in their lives in the form of mishaps,tragedies and accidents such as death of a close one, experience of a natural disaster,divorce,abuse or social isolation etc.People who suffer from chronic diseases like cancer,neurodegenerative disorders may also show symptoms of depression.According to DSM-5 environmental pollutants could be a possible cause too.

In a study, full and half siblings at high risk for major depression, were compared with individuals raised in their home environment, those reared in adoptive homes (homes selected in Sweden for their high-quality rearing environment) had a significantly reduced risk for major depression. This protective effect disappeared if an adoptive parent had major depression or if the adoptive home experienced parental death or divorce during childhood/adolescence.

 The rearing environment has a meaningful impact on risk for major depression, and this effect is likely mediated both by parental depression and the continuity or disruption of the home environment.

Mental restructuring to gain clarity 

When you are depressed, you may reach rock and bottom which makes you numb. To get rid of this numbness, you have to learn to restructure the way you think. 

Reflection and Realization

The first step is to become conscious about what is happening. You have to ask yourself what exactly dragged you to this condition. You reflect back to those life choices which you think are no more sustainable. You try to realize your state of darkness and acknowledge the fact that whatever you are in no more deserves your potential. 

You start questioning everything that you see is happening around you. You question your motives, other people’s motives, your beliefs, your fears, why you did things, why you didn’t do things, why you succeeded, why you failed. 

Answering these questions will make you conscious of what you can and cannot control. You will realize your faults by analyzing a situation to its core. You also find a reason for your dissatisfaction towards your life. This will help you think of possible solutions and ways to handle your problem.

Therefore, reflection and realization will bring you clarity.

Gaining Fresh Perspective

Based on the renewed sense of clarity that you are gradually achieving through questioning, you can start off with a fresh perspective to know yourself and people around you.

Self-awareness of Bad Habits & Behavior

At times we are so involved in making us content that we forget about our flaws and bad habits. We become unconscious about our own deeds which can be the reasons behind being a failure or losing relations. 

Rock bottom is where you have reached the lowest position of being hopeful and now that you have to take a turn upwards needs self-awareness and conscious determination. It is more important to be aware of your bad habits and behaviors than anything else. Hitting rock bottom is not inevitable but it is a necessity because  those behaviors were simply not conducive to your growth.

This is different from the first idea of “reflection and realization”. There you were introspecting and discovering the reasons behind why you reached such a point. Then you attended to those behaviours. Now is the time to accept it, be aware of it throughout and manage it all by yourself. Self-awareness is the ability that you have to be adept at to accept your bad habits. 

Trusting in Life

Faith is one of the most pure emotions a person can nurture to make them happy and content. When depression drags you to hit the bottom you would lose all hope and faith. I should remind you trust is an energy that never dies. You have it within yourself, deep inside which has to be poked and called upon. For that you have to eradicate your ego. You can only kill your ego if you realize that whatever you thought you would achieve in life is not going to happen until you have the foundation to successfully accomplish  those things.  you start to trust life and choose to live in the moment more often. As you surrender to your higher self more and more, you align with your right purpose and right life path. And it feels good.

Humility

The tricks of life are not easily decipherable. Life is not black and white and you do not know everything. You start realizing that you have to be modest and grounded  to the various stimuli and not react to them immediately. You have to start realizing that you know very little and become a student of life and not a juror.

Compassion

With humility comes compassion. You know what it is like to experience the rock bottom. Now you look at yourself from a third person’s eye and you cannot see yourself stuck at that grave point. You have to let yourself out and fly high. You have to empathize and help those who are in that condition. You will start gaining compassion and love for yourself and  others. 

Letting Go

To hold on to bad experiences is the most deadly habit one person can ever have. Life is so short. If you spend half your life just holding onto things, you can never enjoy it. With every step you will get stuck at some point in your past and never come back. Life will become a place filled with negativity and darkness. 

With clarity and all the above qualities you will start letting go of the old ideas and beliefs which are no more working. You will broaden your mind towards new ideas, people, opportunities, talents and experiences. As you empty your cup, so to speak, you fill it back up with stuff that you actually want, instead of accepting what was unconsciously passed onto you. Life hands you a fresh cup of reality.

Taking Responsibility

You begin to start taking responsibility for all the outcomes in life rather than blaming others. You will start accepting all that has happened to you  and no more complaining or blame. You realize it was your and your mind who created all the good and bad in your life. You have dug the hole where you got trapped, now you yourself will be dragging yourself up, finally being the savior of your own life. 

  

Gratitude

Gratitude is the most powerful gift one can ever give to others and most importantly to their own self. 

Your journey from hitting rock bottom would end with the exchange of gratitude. You will have to start with basic contributions such as praising yourself for the littlest of things, encouraging yourself for being able to do away with your bad habits, paying gratitude to yourself for being courageous enough to get out of the dark phase of life and stand with your head held high.

 Your existence is a constant prayer of gratitude to the universe and to yourself for having the courage to move beyond hard times and choose life when you could have chosen a number of other options just to make the pain go away. 

Your darkest times have given you things like depth, wisdom, courage which cannot be learned anywhere else. Look back and evaluate those dark times; try to create a positive outlook towards it. Thank yourself for making it possible for you to win the challenges of life. 

Lastly the most pure, simple and basic thing that you can nurture to make your life happening is to believe that “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude” – Karl Barth.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Combat depression with some fun activities 

Smile more often

We all know, we smile when we are happy. Did you know it happens the other way around too?

Dr. Isha Gupta a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains, a smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.

Studies show a smile induces happiness. Even if you are not happy and nothing is making you smile, broaden your face muscles up, lift your cheeks and give yourself a dose of happiness with a simple smile.

Watch stand-up comedies

YouTube is an abode of content full of fun stuff. Try watching stand-up comedies which will absolutely make you laugh. Usually stand-up comedians make puns on very simple issues and experiences we have in our daily lives. That will make you relate to those puns and get humour out of it.

Some extremely famous YouTube videos and comedians are linked here :

https://youtu.be/88bD9f2MivI ( Trevor Noah is my favourite)

Breathing exercises 

According to a recent study published by the APA, it has been found that anhedonia is a psychic defense we use to fight off a stressful situation. It sends our body and mind to the survival mode and makes us hold our breath and panic.

Simple breathing exercises can help us practise concentration and generate a control on our breath. This will help us nurture mindfulness thus gaining mental clarity. With mental clarity we can get over our state of dissociation. 

Physical activity

There is an extensive body of literature documenting an inverse association between level of depressive symptoms and physical activity (PA).

According to the article “Relations Between Anhedonia and Physical Activity” by

Adam M. Leventhal, anhedonia may be inversely associated with physical activity for several reasons and “deficient pleasure may be an important affective mechanism underlying physical behavior”.

Even if you may not find exercise pleasurable, it will help you stay fit and healthy. Your lack of motivation can be ruled out with physical activities which will keep you fit and motivated too. 

Set goals either in the morning or the evening to get yourself engaged in any sort of physical activity, be it yoga, cardio, walk, skipping or any other form of physical activity. 

It is very important to commit to yourself and carry on with your physical activity on a daily basis. Discipline will keep you hopeful and determined. 

Healthy sleep habits

Sleep is an integral part of a person’s physical as well as mental health.  Reducing exposure to screen, atleast one hour before sleep, will help you gain a peaceful one.  Try to replace screen time with over-phone calls,  reading or talking to family members.

 Healthy sleep habits include maintaining a specific time of going to bed and waking up. This will help you overcome the damaging effects of anhedonia and help boost energy levels.

 Socialize

Socializing helps you connect with people and  get over loneliness and triggering negative thoughts. 

If socializing in person does not help you, try out social media. You can talk to strangers who are suffering from the same thing as you over chatrooms and forums.

Therapy or counseling

Anhedonia can affect your daily life and make you trapped in a vicious circle of worthlessness and misery. 

If you think self help can no longer help your condition, please do consider therapy or counseling. They will help you out with either medication or talk therapy or a combination of both based on the severity of your condition.

Practise self-love

The purest form of love is experienced in your own self. If you are not able to feel any emotion, you should start loving your own self. Don’t worry, it is not very difficult. Self-love can be practised in any way among all these listed below:

  • Follow a skin care routine : you can frame your routine with simple things like applying moisturizer on a daily basis after washing your face in the morning. Scrubbing your body once a week. Going to the salon for a clean-up, manicure, pedicure or haircut. Take care of your nails. You will get a glowing skin after a week, I assure. 
  • Have healthy food: To make yourself healthy and glowing, you should check upon your eating habits too. Control sugar intake, junk and oil, hog upon fruits, veggies and set a cheat day once a week. A proper well thought diet plan will help you feel healthy, energetic and fall in love with your skin.
  • Remind yourself how good you are: take out some time everyday to list those things you love about yourself. For example, “I like the way I talk to people, I am a good listener, I have good communication skills, I am beautiful no matter whatever the world thinks.”- I am sure you will love this session.  
  • Go for a movie: keep the weekends solely for yourself. Dress up good, book a ticket and go out for a movie date with yourself. You can also take yourself out for dinner dates, coffee dates, stationary shopping or a short trip away from your locality.

Self-love is an intrinsically motivated emotion. If depression is making you experience no feelings of love towards anyone, try out anything that you like doing the most all by yourself. The above self-love activities I prefer the most. You can try out anything that is closer to your heart. If playing games or painting trees makes you happy do that, or you can even try out finding interest in new activities. For example, I discovered I am really good at doodling in the recent past when I was bored in the midst of the pandemic. Likewise you should cultivate love in yourself through activities and habits (new or already existing) if you think you don’t feel “love” for anyone.

Conclusion

From the following article, “Depressed because someone broke your heart”, we learned about what to do when you are depressed because of a heartbreak. 

FAQs:Depressed because someone broke your heart

Why does heartbreak hurt so much?

Studies show that your brain registers the emotional pain of heartbreak in the same way as physical pain

Can a breakup affect your mental health?

Stressful life events such as a breakup or divorce can sometimes trigger prolonged and severe emotional distress.

Can a breakup be traumatic?

The break up of a relationship can be one of life’s most traumatic events.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioral therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References:

https://rockbottomlanding.com/

https://www.webmd.com/depression/what-is-anhedonia

lose.https://motivationgrid.com/5-reasons-why-nothing-seems-to-make-you-happy-anymore/

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-help-someone-with-depression-1065117

https://www.quora.com/Do-you-lose-the-feeling-of-love-when-you-are-suffering-from-depression

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