Breakups are painful and never easy. It’s like your life was flipped upside down, similar to flipping a pancake. The songs, memories, locations you loved before only makes you cry and bitter now. How could everything change so drastically and quickly?
Feeling sad is normal and expected after a breakup. People who have been dumped are urged to let their feelings out, cry, and give in to those emotions to feel better. However, this feeling of sadness can quickly turn into depression, which could affect one’s health if not addressed.
The Definition of Breakup Depression
Depression after a breakup is not caused merely by losing someone you loved. Several causes add up to the pain that you feel.
Some of these are:
You worry about the future, whether you will be able to get back up again, stay single forever, not be loved anymore or never smile again. These questions of the future add up to the anxiety that you feel after a breakup.
One of the reasons why those who just broke up are advised to let those feelings out is because of the danger of bottled-up feelings exploding at an unexpected moment. When those feelings come back up, any other unrelated issues such as financial difficulties, family issues, work problems, or social life troubles will become convoluted with one another and becomes an intimidating mountain of emotions.
“He left you,” “You’re not good enough,” “You can’t keep a relationship” are some of the thoughts that will pass your mind after a breakup. Your pride and self-confidence get hurt, and you could begin doubting yourself – if you’re meant to love and be loved.
You start wondering, “What if it really was because of you and not the other person,” that you broke up.
Fell out of the routine
The weekend suddenly feels so boring without your plans to go out for a date and your week seems so dreary because your ex isn’t there anymore to give you random shots of sweetness and bliss. Now, you have no plans, and you feel like you’ve got nothing to look forward to.
This feeling of falling out of your routine, especially if you’ve broken up with someone whom you’ve been with for years, will be a drastic change that you will need to get used to from now on.
All of those reasons above add up to make a breakup even more challenging to overcome. When you feel sad, lonely, negative, and pessimistic for long periods to the point that you lose sleep and lack the energy to do anything else, you are probably experiencing breakup depression.
The Symptoms of Breakup Depression
First, let’s take a look at the normal and healthy feelings that occur after a breakup.
1. Anger and frustration
You are annoyed and agitated at having lost someone that you once loved. You ask yourself if you could have done better.
2. Crying and sadness
Along with feeling anger and frustration is the sadness. You got hurt, and it was a terrible kind of hurt. You feel like your heart has shattered into a million pieces without knowing if you could patch it up again.
After a breakup, you wonder if you could ever find someone again or even smile and be happy once more.
Losing sleep is a normal response to a breakup. Your mind is so full of the memories and the questions that it is hard to get a good night’s rest. You are also afraid that you might dream of your ex when you do fall asleep.
5. Loss of interest in daily activities
“What’s the point of going through your day when you have no one to share it with?” you may ask. You don’t have the energy to do anything and be with or talk to anyone.
When these symptoms do not get better, and your emotional state does not improve, or they get worse, that is a sign you could be experiencing breakup depression.
According to Healthline, developing at least five of the following symptoms for more than two weeks is a sign of depression:
- Feeling sad, empty or hopeless most of the time nearly every day
- Continued loss of interest in the activities you once enjoyed
- Loss of appetite and weight or an increase of both
- Lack of sleep or too much sleep
- An increase in pacing or hand movements or experiencing a significant slowing down of speech or movement
- Having no energy most of the time
- Feeling worthless
- Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
- Having suicidal thoughts
How Long will Breakup Depression Last
If left untreated, breakup depression can last a long time and lead to numerous health problems or one can develop a reliance on alcohol and prohibited substances to ease the pain.
Doctors advise for those who experience the symptoms above for more than two to three weeks to seek medical assistance.
How to Deal with Breakup Depression
There are other ways to deal with breakup depression besides medical assistance, which could be done at the comfort and security of your home. These are:
Breaking a sweat is a great way to combat the lack of energy and motivation that you feel. Furthermore, exercise releases your body’s natural hormones called endorphins, which is a great mood booster.
If you don’t feel like going out for a run or to the gym, you can take a yoga mat and follow some simple workout videos easily accessible online.
Half an hour, three times a week is an excellent start to get you back on track.
Distraction is key to overcome breakup depression. Start by making a list of the activities you love doing or are interested in trying. You won’t feel motivated to do it at first, but opening that book, starting that project or signing up for that class is already winning half the battle.
3. Herbal remedies
For those who do not want to take antidepressants, there are other options to try, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, or aromatherapy. These are all effective ways to calm your mood and push away the troubling thoughts.
Bring out the oil diffuser, pour some drops of lavender, lower the lights, and try to get some rest. Sometimes we need to force ourselves to stop and recharge, and this is something crucial when you’ve lost so much sleep after the breakup.
Rest and sleep improve your physical and mental health and gives you the energy you need.
There’s nothing like a little social therapy to distract you and help you feel better. Go out for coffee, watch a movie, and go shopping with your friends. Guaranteed there will be laughs, tears, and everything in between. You will reach your doorstep feeling rejuvenated.
Quotes on Breakup Depression
Here are some quotes for a little pick-me-up:
Throwing away a diamond doesn’t make it less valuable, it doesn’t make it worthless. It does, however, make you an idiot. - unknown
You are a diamond. And it is his loss. Period.
I may have lost someone who didn’t love me, but you lost someone who truly loved you. – unknown
Say this to yourself when you feel down and confused.
When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive. – Paulo Coelho
For those days, when you feel afraid of being alone.
I learned that people leave. Even if they have promised a thousand times that they won’t. – unknown
If there’s anything you can learn from the breakup, it’s this. Accepting the reality of things is the first step to moving on.
How do you know when it’s over? Maybe when you feel more in love with your memories than with the person standing in front of you. – Gunnar Ardelius
Do you still love him or the idea of him? More often than not, it’s the latter. Therefore, why want him back? How about taking some time to heal and then finding someone who can give you both.
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you’re taking your time getting over someone. Always remember that there is no time limit in feeling heartbroken, nor is it a race to who can move on the fastest from a breakup.
A breakup hurts people in different ways, and there is little space to compare because we respond to pain differently.
Take this time to focus on you. No comparisons, no pressure, just your healing. Don’t stop to look back at the past and, at the same time, don’t be too eager to rush to the future. It’s all about taking things one day at a time.