Revision for the psyche: how to get out of depression after breaking up with a loved one?
Depression is caused by various reasons. One of the most common is problems in interpersonal relationships (in particular, breaking up with a loved one).
When a person does not pay enough attention to their own feelings and emotions, depression and melancholy grow into a pathological state – depressive disorder.
To prevent this, it is important to know about the specifics and main symptoms of the disease, and in case you find signs of depression after parting with your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend – to seek help in time.
What happens in what cases?
Not always a breakup provokes depression. At risk are :
- People genetically predisposed to the development of mental illness – in stressful situations, they show greater sensitivity, react stronger, the mechanisms of overcoming negative emotions they do not have as developed, so depression after a breakup catches up with them more often.
- Suffering from chronic mental disorders, among which are borderline, dependence, anxiety, bipolar (the specificity of these diseases implies impaired emotional regulation or an increased need for a relationship, the presence of a loved one – it is logical that the breakup of habitual connections for such people will be much more painful).
- Experiencing chronic fatigue as a result of increased mental or physical stress (such people are exhausted physically and mentally, so the slightest stress has an extremely negative effect on their mental state).
Pay attention! The presence or absence of “aggravating” factors will only affect the speed of getting rid of sadness caused by separation. Even if a person is prone to depression, it does not mean that they will never be able to cure this disorder. There is always hope for recovery from depression – especially when treatment is handled by professionals.
The loss of a loved one will always cause pain in the psyche, especially if the relationship lasted a very long time and people were connected by many pleasant moments and joint plans for the future.
Separation – not only a violation of the relationship with the person, but also the need to radically reconsider your way of life. However, this revision, although it will require a huge amount of human resources, but will save from stagnation and provoke a global change, allowing you to review goals and values and re-prioritize.
How long does grief last and what stages does it go through?
It is possible to distinguish 5 stages in the development of a depressive episode, each of which is characterized by the prevalence of a certain emotion and a peculiar view of the problem and its solutions.
Denial of the fact of the change that has occurred. In the case of separation the person refuses to recognize that the relationship is over, tries to correct the situation, to return everything to its original position. As a rule, this stage does not last long, from 3-5 days to a couple of weeks.
Having realized that what has happened cannot be changed, the person feels anger at his former partner and sees him as the source of the problem. The meaning of this action is self-defense, the transfer of negative emotions from oneself to others in order to prevent mental self-injury. This stage is short-lived and may last from a couple of days to a week.
When anger at others does not yield results, attempts to analyze the situation and find the root of the problem begin.
The person still does not accept the fact of the breakup, the only way out for him is to return everything, and he tries to do this in every way possible.
This leads to attacks on oneself, to thoughts of “if I fix something in myself, my partner will come back to me”. The bargaining stage, depending on the depth of self-analysis and the ability to reflect, can last for several weeks or even months.
The depressive state
Reflexivity that begins in the bargaining stage develops into full-fledged self-hatred; the person blames only himself for what happened, idealizes those around him, and devalues his own qualities. A person who does not receive treatment can remain in the depressive stage for months to several years. It is at this stage that, in the presence of aggravating factors, the accompanying sadness and longing grows into a serious illness.
If a person is going through a separation alone, while experiencing stress in other areas of life – the risk of depression increases many times over. Need to allow yourself to rest, emotionally survive the separation, to create conditions for recovery and minimize negative factors.
Ideally, you should talk to a psychologist who will suggest working methods of overcoming stress – and, if anything, will timely notice the signs of approaching depression.
The final stage which, with a favorable outcome, marks the exit from a depressive state. There is hope for the resolution of the problem. The fact of the separation is no longer denied, but fully accepted – and the person learns to live with this awareness. Depressive symptoms disappear (in case efforts are made to get out of the crisis). The duration of this stage depends on the success of therapy or the effectiveness of self-help measures.
It is necessary to remember, that treatment of depression and working through internal problems is not an immediate process. The average duration of this stage is from a month to six months, after which the depressive symptoms disappear.
How does it manifest itself?
The symptomatology of depressive disorder is well studied and can be detected already in the early stages of the disease. It is worth paying attention to :
- Decline in mood, the predominance of pessimistic thoughts and the inability to experience intense emotions.
- Disturbance of sleep and appetite.
- Deterioration of cognitive abilities (memory, attention, concentration).
- Apathy, lack of will (inability to perform even habitual actions).
Important ! Suicidal ideation is a frequent symptom of severe depression. When they arise, you should consult a psychotherapist right away!
- Due to the specifics of their upbringing, they are less likely to seek help, and therefore the illness may be prolonged (and, according to statistics, more often lead to death).
- Men are less likely to pay attention to their emotions and tend to deal with stress by resorting to alcohol, drugs, sometimes overwork, gambling addiction, risky behaviors (in short, anything that helps to forget for a while).
- Men when depressed may experience mood swings and become more aggressive, get into scandals and fights.
- Depression is more often accompanied by problems with eating behavior (anorexia or compulsive overeating).
- The peculiarities of the cycle may influence the course of the illness – making symptoms more or less pronounced.
- A drop in libido, i.e. loss of interest in sexual life, is a frequent sign of depression in women.
How to cope and survive – recommendations from specialists
- It is important to eliminate any reminders of a former partner – do not check his social networks, remove photos, gifts, things associated with him.
- Surround yourself with experiences – get a new hobby, avoid social isolation and meet new people (but do not rush to start a new relationship without sorting out the problems that led to the end of the previous one).
- Work on improving self-esteem – develop your hobbies and talents, actively express themselves in creativity or work and find use of their skills and confirmation of their own value.
Briefly about how to cope with depression after a breakup is told in this video:
How not to get depressed?
Alas, even the strongest feelings do not guarantee that the union will last forever. People break up when they stop idealizing the partner and find features that they are not willing to put up with. People can “grow out” of relationships if they interfere with personal development. Sometimes partners change too much and stop needing each other. All of this is normal and natural.
One should not be afraid of separation, but it is worth considering that such an outcome is possible because people change, their values, desires, and ideals change.
- A good practice is to mentally or aloud thank your former partner, husband or wife, for the experience that was gained from the relationship with them.
- At first it is better to avoid triggering situations – don’t see each other, don’t correspond with exes, don’t look at common photos.
- You should not withdraw into yourself and immerse yourself in self-condemnation, blame and anger; parting is a loss of the familiar, but at the same time it is an acquisition of freedom and openness to new things.
- It is important to avoid stress and excessive stress, to make sure basic needs are met to avoid burnout and the development of depressive symptoms.
When do I need to go to the doctor to beat it?
If enough time has passed after the breakup (more than half a year), but you still cannot return to the usual rhythm of life – consulting a psychologist or psychotherapist will help.
Physician will help to survive the loss, to overcome negative emotions and achieve harmony with himself.
People who have been through violence in relationships also need specialist support – to restore adequate self-esteem and prevent post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The presence of suicidal thoughts is a reason to immediately consult a psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Severe depression should not be self-medicated, because it is ineffective and can lead to tragic consequences.
Important ! A psychologist consults with the client, resolving existential issues and overcoming identity crises. The assistance of a psychologist can be effective in getting rid of mild depression or a reactive depressive episode of mild severity.
The psychotherapist, together with psychotherapy, can prescribe medication (in the case of severe depression). Psychiatrists treat serious mental disorders, lingering depression, psychoses, and also work with people who have experienced or are planning a suicide attempt.
Depression is a frequent companion of breakups, especially if the breakup was abrupt or accompanied by difficult life circumstances. However, depression can be prevented by following basic preventive measures. And even if the disease has caught up, it is important to remember – depression is treatable, and a qualified doctor will help to forget about it forever.
How to survive the parting with a loved one: tips from a psychologist
Is it true that the parting – it’s a little death, as sang Alla Pugacheva? The causes of the painful state after the breakup of a relationship have become an object of study by psychologists and doctors. Do not despair: there are ways to live through all stages of pain and successfully recover for a happy life.
How to survive a breakup with a loved one?
Most people have experienced the breakup of a love relationship at least once in their lives. The mental pain from it is comparable to the physical pain. Studies of scientists and findings of psychologists will help to understand the mechanism of suffering and get rid of it.
Physiological symptoms of a breakup and ways to take the pain away
The expression “heartbreak” has a scientific basis. Stress disrupts the physiological cycle of the body. The hormones that the body produces in love don’t find use.
The “broken heart” syndrome is seen on the cardiogram : Pexels
Cardiologists Parham Ashtehardi, Simon K. Kestner and others have investigated the “broken heart” syndrome known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy. It was first described in 1990 by Japanese scientist Hikaru Sato. It is a disorder of the heart muscle in which myocardial contraction decreases and the apex of the left ventricle of the heart bulges. The syndrome develops suddenly and can be related to the emotional stress of losing a loved one, either literally because of his death or because of a painful separation.
Of course, this does not happen every time – more often it is just emotional pain and stress – but even this option is not excluded. Such serious problems in the body are provoked by the brain’s reaction to a difficult situation in life. The clinical picture is similar to a myocardial infarction, and the sensations are similar to the pain a person experiences during the breakup of a relationship with a partner:
- Sudden pain in the chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- A change in heart rhythm, which is recorded by electrocardiography.
- Changes in the person’s hormonal background (increased levels of adrenaline).
The prognosis for the treatment of takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy is favorable. Recommendations for the treatment of real “broken heart” syndrome will also be useful for anyone who is just painfully experiencing a breakup. So here they are:
- Get enough sleep to restore your strength. Aromatherapy and soothing herbal preparations (mint, lemon balm) can help you recover from insomnia.
- Drink more water – it removes excess hormones, which in such a situation become toxic for the body.
- Revise your daily menu. Eat fractional meals, 3-5 times a day, in small portions. Food should be light and nutritious, rich in vitamins and trace elements. Take a vitamin complex as prescribed by your doctor.
- Exercise (yoga, swimming, running, etc.) at least 3 times a week, take long walks.
- Take sea salt baths to restore your nervous system.
Drink more water to flush out toxins: Unsplash / Allison Christine
What to do to get over a breakup: Advice from psychologists
People experience intense distress from breaking up with a partner because the neural connections that have been built over the course of the relationship are disrupted in the brain. The result is anxiety, restlessness, and dissatisfaction. They are replaced by apathy, depression, and loss of energy.
How do you survive a breakup after a long relationship? Here are proven tips:
- Stabilize your emotional state at a consultation with a therapist. Get over all stages of the breakup, with the help of a specialist. Figure out what was holding the relationship together, work through childhood traumas. Take medication that the therapist will prescribe.
- Daily practices, meditations and reading affirmations will help to restore the taste for life, as writes English coach and positive psychologist Charlotte Stile in her book “Positive Psychology. What Makes Us Happy, Optimistic and Motivated.”
- Look at your former partner without illusions, be realistic. It’s important to see him as a separate non-ideal person you can replace with another. Do the practice of letting go by writing him a letter, saying what you didn’t get to say, and close this chapter in your life.
- Reconstruct your own identity, your own self, which has blended in with your partner’s identity. Make a diary in which to set out a plan of action for the coming period, goals and values.
- Occupy your free time and thoughts with what you love. Spending time together with children, relatives and friends, favorite work and hobbies will shift attention.
- Change your image and surroundings. Try a different style of clothing, hairstyle, tidy up your body. Change your job or place of residence.
According to the magazine Psychologies, to get rid of the suffering of a breakup, it will take an average of 3 months of hard work on yourself.
Write a goodbye letter to your former partner: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema
Major Mistakes After Breaking Up With Loved Ones
Many people are not ready to accept a breakup as a fait accompli. They have difficulty separating from their partner, pulling themselves together, and ending their suffering. How to survive a hard breakup? The process of recovering from a relationship breakup includes the same stages as saying goodbye to a dead person: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
You have to go through them consistently. If you disrupt the process, you can not only slow down recovery, but also get bogged down even more in destructive emotional dependence on the person you have become indifferent to.
No need to look for blame and try to win your partner back: Pexels
Here are the top mistakes people make after a romantic and loving relationship ends:
- Finding fault. You can’t change the past. Even if specific actions, situations, or people influenced the situation, the event (relationship breakup) has already happened.
- Trying to win your partner back by persuasion or jealousy. Pressuring him or his immediate environment, blackmail and threats. All this will lead to the formation of disgust or aggression in the ex. It is better to maintain dignity and a good impression of yourself.
- The desire for revenge, to punish the former partner. The mistake is that you can not force someone to love, it is a voluntary act.
- Trying to remain friends. In most cases, this only inhibits recovery. It is better to stop communicating completely, returning to it only after you are completely relieved of suffering, and if the desire and reason arise.
- Following former partners on social networks. Constantly looking at shared photos and videos, returning to meeting places, listening to your partner’s favorite music tracks. This only provokes a mental “gumption” of memories known as rumination – intrusive thoughts that are impossible to cope with.
- Regrets about the past. Don’t think of a broken union as a shameful loss. Just because love is gone doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Appreciate the experience and move forward. Link all your dreams of happiness (harmony in marriage, children, a cozy home) with your former partner is a big mistake. You need to remember that while you’re alive, you can change everything, and the best is waiting ahead.
- Trying to dive headlong into a new relationship. Not only will this not help, but it will increase the pain due to the comparison of former and present partners, as well as an unstable emotional state.
- The desire to close oneself off from work, hobbies and the usual circle of people, to close in an imaginary world or in one’s own house. Candidate of Psychology, consultant psychologist Elena Lyubchenko believes that it is necessary to surround oneself with warm, loving people, to talk openly about feelings and experiences.
- Unwillingness to deal with yourself. If you give up on your own appearance and order at home, you will get bogged down in gloomy thoughts even more, descending into clinical depression.
- Consumption of alcohol, psychotropic substances, the desire to eat sweets or fast food as a snack. Not only will this not help, but it will lead to the formation of addiction, weight gain, destruction of health and a decrease in self-esteem.
- Suicidal thoughts. Understanding that your ex-partner has his own life and you have your own, new and interesting life will help get rid of suicidal thoughts. In the book “The New Positive Psychology: A Scientific Look at Happiness and the Meaning of Life,” writes Martin Seligman, that American psychologist Barbara Fredrickson created the theory that only a positive attitude will ensure mutual sympathy and give a chance to build a new love relationship.
How to move on after a breakup? You need to understand that your former partner has become a separate person. Without trying to return through blackmail and threats, without sinking into a deep depression and addiction to artificial doping, you will return to normal life faster, creating new goals and values that will give a sense of comfort and happiness.
Most people have gone through a relationship breakup, but everyone has done it differently. General tips on what you should and shouldn’t do during the breakup phase will help you avoid common mistakes and create your own plan of action.
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