When you breakup, it can pull the rug literally from under your feet and trigger a range of emotions. Some people don't go through the 5-stages of the grieving process, but just quickly accept the end of a relationship and move on. But so many people find themselves feeling depressed.
This can be a heartbreaking time, and it's like you've been hit by a ton of bricks! But while sadness and a whole range of emotions are normal reactions after a breakup, it’s important to recognise the symptoms of depression.
Since symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe, it’s often difficult to know whether sadness and grief are a normal reaction to a breakup or a sign of something more serious like depression.
It’s okay to grieve the loss of a relationship as you begin the healing process. But this doesn’t suggest that every emotion you feel is a normal reaction. There are healthy and unhealthy symptoms of a breakup. Knowing the differences between these symptoms can help you determine whether you’re experiencing depression.
Healthy symptoms of a breakup may include:
anger and frustration
crying and sadness
loss of interest in activities
These symptoms are annoying. But if you’re experiencing a normal reaction to the breakup, your emotional state will improve little by little as you adjust to life without your partner. The amount of time it takes to heal varies for each person, so be patient.
Common symptoms of depression include:
loss of interest and lack of pleasure in normal everyday activities
a feeling of hopelessness or despondence associated with exhaustion or loss of energy
loss of concentration
feelings of indifference
Disinterest, discouragement, withdrawal and preoccupation.
The depressive becomes completely self-absorbed and feels no need for help from others. They feel others should change, not themselves.
Serious depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
If you are experiencing depression, realise that it is a state of mind to which you retreat in order to escape the feeling of pressure, especially emotional pressure. After many years of careful observation, I have determined that most depressive people carry unresolved issues with opposite-sex parents. This explains why it is very common to blame their ex spouses for their depression. The resulting torment the ex went through was meant for the parent. By refusing to get help, you continue to feed the monstrous frame of mind a steady diet of bitterness and hatred that builds and increases the weight of the depression. This cloud of accumulated destructive thoughts and emotions becomes heavier and heavier.
The depth of emotional wounding determines the depth of the depression. Wounds of rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, or injustice set the stage for tremendous mental upheaval, especially if experienced in isolation. As young children, depressives had no one to talk to, to hear their questions and to share their anguish. If they do not learn to trust others, they will continue to withdraw and deny their desires.
Ways to cope with depression that don’t involve professional help include:
Exercise: Physical activity can strengthen your immune system and boost your energy. Exercise also increases your body’s production of endorphins, which can improve your mood. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity at least three times a week.
Keep busy: Explore hobbies and keep your mind occupied. If you’re feeling depressed, read a book, go for a walk, or start a project around the house.
Get plenty of sleep: Getting plenty of rest can also improve your mental well-being and help you cope after a breakup.
Herbal and natural remedies: If you don’t want to take a prescription medication, ask your doctor about supplements used for depression, such as St. John’s wort, S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe, and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil. Some supplements can’t be combined with prescription medication, so consult your doctor beforehand. You can also explore alternative therapies for depression, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and meditation.
You don’t have to go through this alone, so surround yourself with positive people who encourage you. If you’re feeling lonely or scared, call a loved one and make social plans.Avoid negative people who may judge or criticise you. This can worsen depression and make it harder for you to heal after a breakup.
You can also fight loneliness and depression after a breakup by cultivating new friendships and reconnecting with old friends. Get together with a few co-workers for a meal, or get involved in your community to meet new people. Join a club, take a class, or volunteer in your spare time.
Despite the rollercoaster ride of a breakup, it’s possible to heal and overcome mental anguish. The healing process varies for each person.
I love showing women who have come out of a relationship and who are feeling like they've been hit by a ton of bricks, how to feel stronger and more confident.
After working with hundreds of clients just like you, I know that you are seeking answers on what you can do to start feeling better, after feeling frustrated that life didn't work out as you planned, so you could either see this as a time of life falling apart or an opportunity to create a more meaningful and fulfilling life. I understand that the pain of heartbreak is real. It's not something to be minimised or trivialised or glossed over.