When a relationship ends, it also brings a range of painful emotions, including breakup depression that takes time to heal. Being sad after a breakup is almost inevitable for everyone and should improve over time. But sometimes, if the sadness becomes a regular part of your life, it can turn into clinical depression.
Losing a relationship can affect various segments of life as you struggle to get over the situation. This can also trigger loneliness, and you may find it hard to identify yourself without your partner.
Breakups are hard. But you do not have to suffer alone— reach out for help if you are having symptoms of depression. Talk to your loved ones and consult professionals who can help you move on from the pain.
Table of Contents
- Post-Breakup Depression Symptoms
- Reasons For Depression After Breakup
- How To Overcome Depression
Post-Breakup Depression Symptoms
A breakup can be challenging for your mental health, especially if you have been closely dependent on your partner or the unexpected result. It can come as a shock and leave you with more questions than answers. Even if the breakup is mutual, it’s not always easy to heal the wounds.
Breakup depression is absolute; no matter what people say, time isn’t always the best healer. Sometimes, the trauma is more profound than we imagine and can seriously threaten our well-being if untreated. Even though every person grieves differently, post-breakup depression can be identified through some mild to severe symptoms:
- Feeling lonely or empty inside
- Loss of energy
- Losing appetite or emotional eating
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Losing interest in things you once loved
- Identity crisis
- Feeling hopeless
- Lack of focus and blurred thoughts
- Physical symptoms like body pain or headaches
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
While it’s common to feel some of these symptoms of depression initially, you should get better as you start adjusting to the new life. However, if things don’t improve and you constantly feel sad after at least 2 weeks of the breakup, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor.
- Symptoms that start growing within 3 months of breakup
- A disturbance that is not due to other pre-existing mental conditions
- Symptoms are proportional to your trauma and account for other external factors that may influence your symptom severity.
Clinical depression can affect every aspect of your life and lead to poor mental and physical health. Recognizing the signs early and getting the proper treatment is crucial for long-term well-being. Chronic stress doesn’t just interrupt your daily life but can also increase the risks of physical complications. Many people also turn to alcohol or drugs to comfort the pain, which can further mess up their health and lead to more problems.
Reasons For Depression After Breakup
The feeling of love releases “happy hormones” that are responsible for making you feel good, and when a relationship ends, those stimulators suddenly get snatched away. This makes your body withdraw and can trigger stress as you feel the longing to get back those happy feelings.
A breakup can become more challenging if you depend on your partner in certain aspects of life. For instance, if your finances depend on your partner or you share a similar work or social group. In such cases, you may have to deal with financial challenges or lose friends. These conditions demand more complicated adjustments that can lead to chronic stress.
No matter the situation, getting over an emotional attachment is never easy. It takes a toll ki l on mental health and can lead to depression. This is more visible among people so profoundly attached to their partners that it becomes almost impossible for them to rediscover their identity without them. Depression after a breakup can also be triggered if you are already going through some other pain in your life and are not emotionally stable.
Sometimes the unhealed trauma comes to the surface once you face another loss. All this pain can accumulate and grow into more significant problems that disrupt how you think of yourself or, worse, trigger symptoms of depression.
How To Overcome Depression
If you feel depressed after the breakup and the symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, you should seek professional help. Based on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest medications or counselling sessions.
Apart from the medical procedure, make conscious efforts to heal yourself while you move through this difficult phase of your life. These tips will help you fast-forward your healing journey while you strive towards becoming a better version of yourself:
- Stop Looking For Closure
Breakups often lead to us seeking answers— “Why did they break up?”, “What went wrong?”, “Why did they choose to hurt me?”
These questions can drive anxiety and create a mental blockage. You may not be able to focus on other important details as your entire focus goes towards getting closure. It’s important to realize that breakup is a closure and shift your energy in other positive directions.
- Denial Doesn’t Change Reality
You may be unable to accept that the relationship has ended, especially if the end is sudden, leading to depression after the breakup. You may try to live in denial or bargain with your partner to return. You may be willing to go to a point where you get ready to ignore all the real reasons that led to the breakup and indulge in nostalgia.
While trying and save your relationship is okay, knowing when to draw a line is necessary. To move on from a situation, you must accept it wholeheartedly. When you start accepting the situation exactly how it is, you start understanding all the “why”s inside it.
- Don’t Contact Your Ex
It’s normal to feel the urge to contact your ex-partner or check their social media updates. But contacting them post-breakup will only play the situation in the loop, and you will continue feeling dependent on them.
The best bet is to remove them from your contact list and social media until you are completely healed, if not forever. This will give you the needed time to rethink your life without them and break the loop of the habit of their presence.
- Take A Break
Breakups can turn your life upside down, affecting various sides of your life. You may often indulge in overwork or oversleeping as a coping mechanism. Remember, as much as it’s essential to work and rest, and it’s equally important not to overdo anything to avoid your feelings.
Give yourself breaks whenever necessary and take enough time for self-care. There’s no particular path to healing, and taking as many breaks as you want is okay until you feel like yourself again.
- Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones
One of the most prominent emotions that work after a breakup is loneliness. You may feel alone and helpless, which can further trigger depression. You may end up feeling rejected, which can damage your self-confidence.
It’s not easy to go through a loss, but it’s also necessary to understand that you are still a lovable person, even without your partner. Spend time with family and friends who make you feel comfortable and loved. Feeling secure and surrounded by people you can trust brings stability as you gather strength to cope with your breakup.
- Chase Your Hobbies
Explore your hobbies once again and work on rediscovering yourself. Activities like reading books, music, and walking can help rejuvenate your mind. Sometimes, the breakup feelings occupy our minds so deeply that we forget ourselves. The sudden lack of a partner can also lead to an identity crisis.
Spend time chasing your hobbies and making efforts to get good at them. This helps boost your confidence while keeping your mind occupied. Once you realize you can be happy and worthy on your own, you start viewing yourself from a fresh perspective.
- Avoid Substances Post Breakup
‘Drugs and alcohol can seem reliable while dealing with heartbreak and loss. Although these substances temporarily relieve your pain, the long-term effects can be dangerous.
Giving in to substances risks other physical and mental illnesses and prevents you from naturally overcoming your painful emotions.
- Take Care Of Your Physical Health
Depression after the breakup doesn’t just affect you mentally but can also increase physical health problems. This makes it very important that you go that extra mile to care for your health.
Give your body the nutrition and rest to revive during the challenging phase. Exercising is another excellent option to increase your immunity and for the release of endorphins, a mood-boosting hormone.
- Make Self-Care Priority
A breakup can often leave you with exhaustion and self-doubts as you may feel responsible for what went wrong. Showing love and being kind to yourself during this time is essential for healing. Prioritize yourself and your self-care as much as you have been doing it for your loved ones.
Say no to things that make you uncomfortable, and permit yourself to do more things that make you happier. Until you feel ready to date someone else, take the time and effort to love yourself. Pamper yourself with massages and spas, treat yourself at your favourite restaurant, plan a holiday, or even restart your old-forgotten passion.
Indulge in therapeutic practices like meditation, journaling your thoughts, and creating a healthy diet. Activities like reading books, cooking, and painting are great ways to spend time with yourself while you learn new things.
- Practice Mindfulness
Our mind is complex, sometimes making us dwell more upon our past and future than the current reality. We get so immersed in the “what ifs” that we forget to appreciate the present moment.
Practising mindfulness is a healthy way to cope with your breakup depression, where you allow your mind to focus on what is going on right now rather than what has happened in the past. This allows you to appreciate the small things that keep you going while you shift your focus from the past trauma.
- Talk To A Therapist
A breakup can feel like a lot, where you go through multiple transitions. If you are feeling depressed after a breakup, taking professional help may give you the needed guidance to accelerate your healing process. They act as a constant support system and help you clear your perspective.
An end to your love life can also affect your relationship with yourself— your therapist help you overcome your doubts and treat you with precisely what your mind needs. Any unhealed past trauma is diagnosed so you can finally break the cycle of depression and grow into a more robust version of yourself.
Breakups can look different for everyone— while the pain is almost inevitable, any symptoms of depression shouldn’t be ignored. Getting through a breakup is easier when you have the needed support. Talking to your loved ones can help soothe the pain if you feel lonely or sad. Take little steps to rediscover yourself daily and seek help if needed.
This phase can be tough on your mind, so it’s important to feel involved and supported at every point. Surround yourself more with things you love and people who help uplift your mood. If you are facing severe breakup depression, opt for professional help.