In this comprehensive guide, we are going to discuss the topic: heartbreak depression. With a brief exploration of the nature of heartbreak and how it leads to depression, we will also be discussing the various ways to deal with the depression that is caused due to heartbreak.
Heartbreak is an intense emotion that is experienced by those who have to undergo the demise of a romantic relationship, marriage, or friendship. It occurs when an important and intimate partner decided to end his/her relationship with you.
Some of the ways to deal with heartbreak depression are as follows:
- Physical activities including regular exercises will boost your energy and change your mood.
- Explore and indulge in your favorite hobbies to keep your mental space occupied and moving healthily.
- Getting enough amount of sleep helps in coping up with a breakup as it relieves your body and mind from post-breakup stress.
- Surround yourself with a supportive, nonjudgemental, and understanding circle of friends and family.
- Take the initiative to join clubs, take a class or volunteer in your spare time.
Effects of a breakup
A breakup is never easy. The end of a relationship can flip your world upside down and trigger a wide range of emotional responses which might not be controllable initially. It also differs from person to person.
Some people find it easier to accept the end of their relationship with their partner and move on with their lives. While some others could spiral into depression.
A breakup can look like the end of the world and you may not be able to move on in daily life as before in the beginning stages of a breakup. Certain reactions and periods are healthy and effective for coping with the aftereffects of a breakup. However, when the symptoms last too long, it is important to look for signs of depression and take action to treat them.
Healthy vs unhealthy symptoms of a breakup
Healthy symptoms of a breakup include the following:
- A normal amount of anger and frustration
- Periods of sadness and crying bouts
- Natural episodes of fear, anxiety, and worry.
- Lack of good sleep/too much sleep
- A general loss of interest in activities.
The above-given reactions are normal after a breakup and emotionally you will start coping up as days pass by. You will gradually learn to adjust without your partner and start to focus more on yourself and your personal growth.
However, the healing period varies from person to person depending upon their resilience potential, coping strategies, and emotional intelligence. There are other factors such as personality and past experiences that also come into play.
A heartbreak can turn into depression if the given symptoms are experienced by the individual for two weeks or more. These are as follows:
- Feeling sad, empty, and hopeless most of the time, nearly every day.
- Loss of interest in activities that you once used to enjoy.
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of appetite or hike in appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- An increase in hand movements like pacing and whining or a decrease in movement and speech.
- Feeling lethargic and tired most of the day.
- Difficulty in making trivial and minute decisions.
- Self-harm thoughts and suicidal ideations.
Heartbreak depression is something that can affect anybody. However, people who have suffered from depression in the past or who have a history of mood disorders are at a greater risk for developing heartbreak depression.
Other factors that can contribute include hormonal changes in your body or another major life change such as loss of a job or death of a loved one.
Healing of a broken heart (coping strategies)
The pain one experiences when a relationship comes to an end is intense and heartbreaking. It leaves the individual heartbroken hopeless and leads to trust issues in oneself and others. Though movies and books make it look easy to deal with a breakup, in real life that is not the truth.
The most commonly referred and looked upon ways and methods are not going to work out at all times. Quoting sentimental lines and providing quick tip solutions do not go long way as practical advice to deal with a heartbreak.
These instant remedies and techniques don’t help you to cope up with your emotional intensities and variations, especially during the beginning stages of a breakup.
The healing period of a breakup cannot be determined in a standard manner as it will differ from person to person. However, during healing, you will grow as an individual and learn in-depth about yourself and your genuine needs and wants from a relationship.
The process of growth will also help you to navigate future relationships you might pursue and to discover your identity as a human being.
In the aftermath of a breakup, do not immediately try to get into problem-solving mode and seek logical answers for all your emotional reactions. Give yourself time to grieve your loss and make space for holding your true emotions and feelings concerning the breakup.
During this stage, try as much not to isolate yourself and surround yourself with people who genuinely care and love for you.
Below given are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while healing from heartbreak.
Never let your emotions take over
After a breakup, never let yourself see it as a complete failure. Try to remain neutral about judging the situation and see it as an opportunity to grow and heal yourself to form better relationships in the future.
You may experience intense anger and may want to seek revenge on your partner. However, know that hurting others is not going to make you feel any better. It’s bound to make you feel worse. It will also stunt your growth as a human being.
Give importance to self-care
Self-care includes emotional, physical, as well as spiritual aspects of your body and mind. Each will be on their own. However, basic self-care routines such as having a nutritious meal, getting enough exercise and sleep, going out with close friends, and conversing with them are things that everyone can adopt.
Always take care to be patient, gentle, compassionate, and non judgemental towards yourself. It will help you to understand the pain you are going through and where you are getting stuck mentally.
Do not get stuck in the past
We all have a general tendency to excavate our past relationships and brood over the loss of ex-partners. Ignoring the problems and red flags, we might even have an urge to get back to those relationships as our emotions cloud our ability to judge the situation in an objective and unbiased manner.
Sometimes, memories, both good and bad might play in your head at odd times and these memories will trigger certain emotions as a consequence. This is a disturbing and distressing situation to handle while you are trying to heal from your heartbreak.
In such circumstances, try to keep your perspective insight and do not forget why the relationship came to an end. Keep physical as well as mental distance from your ex-partner and avoid any sort of situation which has the potential to take you back to the person.
Make sure you don’t end up spending too much ‘checking up’ on your partner through social media platforms, mutual friends, and so on. Keep yourself at bay and work out your emotions one at a time.
Cherish the good memories
Even if your relationship ended on a sour note, there will be good memories and genuine love and joy that might have been shared between you both. When such memories emerge, try to cherish them and be grateful for them. Try to view them as good times you got to share with someone you truly loved and cared for at one point in time in your life.
Give attention to your needs
Giving space and time for your emerging needs is a crucial step in your healing process. Ignoring your needs and being numb to the hurt you feel will only make you more bitter and tired in the long run. Instead, try to recognize, accept, and grow with your developing needs in every relationship you are a part of.
Re-evaluate your needs
Once you go through a breakup, take ample time to re-evaluate and analyze your needs from a relationship objectively and without any form of biases. Try to understand what exactly you are looking for, in a partner, and the pattern of your choice for partners.
Stay away from rebound relationships
After a breakup, never seek to enter a new relationship immediately without gaining clarity and closure for your previous one. It would lead to utter chaos as you will see yourself repeating old behavior patterns and confusion most of the time.
Make time to reflect upon your old relationships and recognize the patterns and junctures where there was scope for problems. This will help you gain insight into yourself as well as about the kind of partner you need in the future.
Date again when you feel ready
Though you may feel reluctant and fearful about dating again, try to be open to the possibilities of meeting and finding new people to date. Take it at your own pace and be mindful of what you feel and how you relate to people when you meet them.
Forgive when you are ready
Forgiveness is a part of the process of healing which helps you to outgrow your pain and feel more empowered to move forward in life. It makes you feel at peace again and embrace your humane side. Forgive and be gentle with yourself as well as your partner when you feel ready.
It permits you to stop investing time and energy in a person or situation that is no longer healthy for you.
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.
In this comprehensive guide, we discussed: heartbreak depression.
FAQs: Heartbreak Depression
Why does heartbreak hurt so much?
A heartbreak hurts a little too much or just as bad as physical pain because the brain registers the emotional pain of a heartbreak similar to physical pain. Thus, when heartbreak happens the stress hormone cortisol is released.
How long does a heartbreak last?
Studies state that an average person takes roughly about eleven weeks (3 months), minimum, to process the heartbreak and feel a little better. However, it differs from person to person and the nature of the breakup. Some people need more time than others.
How do I stop loving someone?
You don’t stop loving someone. However, you can try to acknowledge the situation and the truth of it. Identify your genuine pain and accept what the love of that person meant to you. Try and invest time to know about your real relationship needs and getting to know yourself better.
What we recommend for depression
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 behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.