Whether it had been a one-month relationship or one year, getting over a breakup is difficult. Unless you are completely emotionless, a breakup is bound to hurt. A heartbreak can leave one sad, depressed, lost and even physically ill at times. There are no shortcuts to get over a breakup, but there are some smart tactics that can help you get over your ex and move on. Some people are quick to bygones be bygones, but for some others, a break-up can be depressing – and that is where it gets serious.
Depression after a breakup
After a relationship ends, it is normal to feel sad, empty and disappointed. Some people feel abandoned and cheated. Break-ups are not easy for some people, and they react to heartbreak with a heightened emotional state. If you or someone you know has been having a rough time post a split, it is best to ascertain that the ‘normal’ does not translate to ‘symptoms of depression’. Watch out for some warning signs as listed in the next section.
Signs and symptoms of depression after a break-up
To grieve on a loss of a relationship is quite normal, and you can be sad angry or even frustrated. These are healthy symptoms of a break up. Crying, having a sense of loss, lack of interest in activities of daily life are all signs that you are in the healing period after a break-up. Now how much time a person takes to get over a break-up can differ from person to person. However, if even after a few weeks of grieving and feeling sad, you do not feel better and are not adjusting to your life, it can be that you have crossed the line to depression. Depression can range from mild to severe, and the below warning signs should not be left un-noticed-
- Feeling despair, sadness, hopelessness and emptiness for many days together
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss; loss of appetite
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling worthless, abandoned, alone
- Difficulty in concentrating, focussing or making decisions
- Feeling sapped out of energy
- Loss of interest in things or activities you enjoyed earlier
- Suicidal ideation, thoughts of death and dying
If you or anyone you know has the above symptoms for atleast 2 weeks, it is best to seek professional medical help.
What can be done to come out of depression after a break-up?
Depression can happen to anyone – but some people are more prone to it. Some people are not well-equipped to handle heart breaks and collapse easily, while some stay strong and steer themselves away from situations that cause them pain. There is no ironclad science of breakup, but there are some things that can be followed to make getting over post-breakup depression bearable.
- Accept: The first of these is acceptance. Tell yourself that the relationship is over and there is nothing you can do to revive it. Accepting that someone or something is not a part of your life makes the whole post break-up healing process simpler and fast
- Healing after a breakup: Once you have accepted the situation, ease yourself into the breakup healing process. Give yourself plenty of time. Cry your heart out, punch your pillow, listen to sad songs all you want, if it helps you feel better. Getting the pent-up rage and hurt out of your system is important. If you don’t give your emotions an outlet, they might build up to chronic bitterness
- Talk to someone who cares about you: It can be your best friend, it can be your brother, it can even be your mother. Remember, these people will always want what is best for you. If you need a patient listener, they will be happy to be that person
- Keep yourself busy: Keep yourself occupied with things that you enjoy, or learn something you had been planning for long but have not been able to find time for. Keeping your mind occupied is one of the best ways to beat depression
- Exercise: Do not make gym your second home, but keep yourself physically active. Exercising has a positive effect on the mind and body, and makes the brain release hormones that make you feel good. Plus, an exhausted body is likely to shut itself to sleep as soon as it hits the sack. So no grieving time there too!
What happens if depression is not treated?
Emotional pain can channelise itself into physical pains and discomfort if left untreated. Many people take to alcohol and drugs to escape their feelings. Many start experiencing physical pains and aches which cannot be explained. Some people indulge in emotional eating which can cause further complications like weight gain, diabetes and the like. Panic attacks may often surface, and you may have problems at work/school or with family and friends. Depression eats into everything you have in life, hence, it is very important to recognise the signs at the earliest and seek help.
The most important thing to remember here is, the end of a relationship is not the end of your life.