Why do you feel like “I’m not living” after your breakup?

In this blog post, we will try to understand why do I feel like I’m not living after your breakup. We look at something that is called ‘breakup depression’ and its symptoms. In addition, we also try to understand the physical side of a broken heart. The article also gives you a few tips to deal with a huge breakup.

Is it normal to feel like “I’m not living “after your breakup? 

Yes,  it is quite normal to feel like I’m not living after your breakup. Breaking up with the love of your life can be the most heartbreaking thing one has to go through. When a relationship is over, feelings of rejection can numb your sense of self and wreck your balance. It may take away your need to live life. Breakups are more like being under a roller coaster. You cannot see what is coming ahead of you. 

You give in every ounce of yourself to the person, only to have your heart broken in the end. Although it is quite normal to have been feeling like not living after your breakup. 

Situational depression 

Experiencing depressive and other symptoms following the end of a relationship is sometimes diagnosed as an adjustment disorder with depressed mood, also sometimes referred to as ‘situational depression’, which in this case will also be known as breakup depression.  Because these feelings with adjustment disorders can last six months to two years, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms so that you can find help and support if you need it.

Symptoms of breakup depression

It is most certainly true that every individual feels love in a different way. Hence it is quite obvious that they may feel the sadness of breaking up uniquely too. The amount of sadness too varies depending on the kind of relationship the person holds. However, there are a few symptoms that can be seen among individuals who go through a tough breakup. They are as follows: 

  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Losing or gaining weight; appetite changes
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Loss of pleasure and interest
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feeling sad, empty, or worthlessness
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Listlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Breakup depression is not an actual medical term or diagnosis, but this does not mean that what you are feeling after a breakup does not represent a real condition. 

To be diagnosed with this condition according to DSM-5, you must:

  • Begin experiencing symptoms within three months of a breakup 
  • Have symptoms that are out of proportion to the severity of the trauma 
  • Have symptoms that are not the result of another mental disorder


Fortunately for us,  regardless of whether you do encounter burdensome indications set off by a breakup, they typically start to improve all alone within a period of 6 months or so after the event. over the long haul, your circumstance improves, and you start to recuperate from the separation, as a rule, you will wind up a bit by bit feeling vastly improved. 

On the off chance that your symptoms are mild to moderate, you might have the option to deal with them all alone by rehearsing great self-care and encircle yourself with a solid emotionally supportive network. 

If your symptoms are more serious or that you simply feel that you need some additional assistance adapting, converse with your therapist or counseling.   Directing can be useful to assist you with the increasing point of view, address negative idea designs, and build up adapting aptitudes that may help you both now and in the future.

On the off chance that your side effects are extreme or don’t appear to be improving, your therapist may likewise recommend drugs, for example, antidepressants that can help.

 The physical side of a broken heart. 

We are all quite well equipped with the emotional state of a breakup as at least once in our lives we have encountered such feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. We all know what it feels like to be sad and depressed after a breakup. But with great research, we have learnt what happens to our physical body after the breakup. Read the following section to understand how the physical body changes after you are heartbroken. 

Brain scans of people recently out of a relationship have revealed that the emotional pain from a breakup or rejection and physical pain share the same neural pathways.

In one study, 40 participants who were recently been heartbroken had their brains scanned while they looked at pictures of their exes and thought about the breakup. As they stared at the photos, the part of the brain associated with physical pain lit up. Researcher Ethan Kross said that ‘These findings are consistent with the idea that the experience of social rejection, or social loss more generally, may represent a distinct emotional experience that is uniquely associated with physical pain.’ 

It is also seen that our brain loves the idea of love. When a person falls in love, our brain releases all the happy hormones. The feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and oxytocin are released to a great extent and the brain bathes in bliss. 

However, when the love of your life leaves you, your brain starts to release stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine and reduce the secretion of feel-good neurotransmitters. Although a small number of stress hormones are good, when they are released for a longer period may cause physical adversities. 

Here’s what’s behind the physical symptoms of a breakup:

Too much cortisol in the brain sends blood to the major muscle groups. They tense up ready to respond to the threat, However, without a real need for a physical response, the muscles have no opportunity to expend the energy. This leads to the muscles to swell, giving rise to headaches, a stiff neck and that awful feeling of your chest being squeezed.

To make sure that the muscles receive an adequate blood supply, our body diverts blood away from the digestive system. This can cause problems in digestive tracts such as cramps, diarrhoea or appetite loss. 

When stress hormones go uncontrolled, the immune system starts to struggle, increasing vulnerability to illnesses. Hence the common ‘break-up cold’.

The steady release of cortisol might cause sleep problems and interfere with the capacity to make sound judgements  Breakups also activate the area of your brain that processes craving and addiction.

Getting through a breakup is as much a physical process as an emotional one. Remember that, and know that it will get easier. Keep going. You’ll get there.

Things you can do to deal with your breakup

Now that we have understood that breakups can be hard, we also cannot just leave it be. To make ourselves better we might have to take a few steps or make a few changes. 

Below are 5 ways to deal with your breakup. 

  •  Accept that it’s over: One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we live in the hope that the person might come back or start to regret their decisions. We need to realize that we are not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts or behaviors. Living with false hope will only delay your process to move on. You will be holding yourself back making it even more difficult to feel good again. 
  • Say yes to every social invitation: It is very important that you start to realize that you also had a life outside of your relationship. if you get calls from your friends to meet, go out for lunch, clubbing, to the beach, say yes! Even though it might be the hardest thing to do, you should go out. By doing so, you will give yourself an opportunity to distract from your sadness and grief. The experience of accepting these invitations will not only allow you to create new friendships but also remind you that you could be single without being “alone.” Grace Larson, a researcher at Northwestern University, says that the desire to accept invitations is likely driven by the need to regain self-concept after the breakup.
  • Use your new free time to build new skills or habits: Sometimes the best way to get through a tough time is to take the focus off yourself entirely or explore a totally unfamiliar skill. If you do not like socializing much, find a different way to distract yourself from it. Volunteer with an organization you care about, take random classes, join a sports league — do anything that gets you out of that dreaded comfort zone and opens your eyes to new horizons. Maybe you’re an expert basket weaver and you don’t even know it?
  • Eat regular and healthy food with physical exercise: As we have seen that breakups can lead to addictions and cravings, it is in our hands that we make sure our healthy life is not disrupted. We need to make efforts to eat healthily and also regularly. With that, it is also to be made sure that you engage in some physical activity. Probably get a gym membership, go out for a run, enroll in a sport, go to yoga classes. This will help you remain positive in your life.  Experts believe that in order to counteract this chaos and disorganization, it’s even more important to eat regular meals. It’s more important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s even more important to set a new, steady schedule for when you’re going to exercise.
  • Go to therapy: We as a society have gotten a lot better when it comes to talking about mental health, but there can still be some stigma and misunderstanding around therapy. The truth is, talking with a trained professional can help you expedite your healing and really process the tough emotions. Not to mention, signing up for therapy doesn’t mean committing to a lifetime of weekly sessions. Sometimes you just need a few appointments to gather the necessary coping tools. Everyone’s situation is different but being open to therapy can have a major impact on your healing.

One can surely lose the hope of living after a breakup, but it is necessary to remember that you can always come out of it. 


In this blog post, we have tried to understand why do I feel like I’m not living after your breakup. We looked at something that is called ‘breakup depression’ and its symptoms. In addition, we also tried to understand the physical side of a broken heart. The article also gave you a few tips to deal with a huge breakup.

FAQs: Why do I feel like I’m not living after your breakup? 

Is it normal to not feel anything after a breakup? 

Yes, it is quite normal to feel nothing after a break up If you feel nothing after a breakup, it doesn’t mean you’re a sociopath, or that you didn’t love your partner. But if you feel numb for a really long period of time, you might want to talk to your health care provider to make sure you’re not suffering from depression.

How long does it take to feel normal after a breakup?

Studies suggest that people start to feel better around three months of post-breakup. One study found it takes three months and 11 days before the average American feels ready to date again after a major breakup.



Your Body During a Breakup: The Science of a Broken Heart


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