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Deal With Depression From A Broken Heart

When you go through a breakup, it is understandable to note that you will experience a couple painful emotions. So we wanted to take the time to share with you some tips on how to deal with depression from a broken heart. 

Are you suffering from a broken heart and find yourself having physical symptoms? You can find the help you need so you can get through the breakup and get on with your daily life. If your mood is not lifting, you want to talk to your doctor, you want to find the treatment you need as soon as possible. 

Why Does Heartbreak Hurt so Much?

Studies show that emotional pain is registered by the brain in the same way that physical pain is registered. This explains why you feel physical pain when you are recovering from a breakup. 

Who Hurts more After a Breakup?

Women tend to be more affected with depression from a breakup and often feel higher levels of both emotional and physical pain afterwards. Women tend to recover faster and come back more emotionally strong than men who tend to never fully recover but simply move on. 

Studies show that love affects the brain like a drug. It provides a release of the feel good hormones and when that is lost you start having physical and emotional problems. These can include tiredness and anxiety.  Emotional stress now causes a rush of stress hormones to be released into the body and these can cause you to feel like you are having a heart attack. This is known as broken heart syndrome

Many times, people in a relationship get very wrapped up into the “we”. So when the breakup occurs it is hard to function on your own because you are so used to functioning as a team, as one unit. So when a breakup occurs it is easy for one to have a disrupted idea of themselves. It will be hard to adjust to this new concept of yourself and you may find yourself feeling uneasy about it.  

Symptoms of a Break Up

Common symptoms of a break up include: 

  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Irritability
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Changes in appetite

There are some situations that can exacerbate the stress of a breakup. You are more likely to be more distressed if you were in a committed relationship, living together and the breakup was unexpected. Women will suffer more distress as well as teenagers and young adults. If you feel betrayed or rejected by the breakup you will also be more likely to be in more distress. 

How Do You Know If You’re Depressed?

How to Tell if You’re Depressed

It is common to be in a low emotional state after a breakup. Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is not just a bout of sadness. It is persistent and lasts for at least two weeks for most or all days. To be diagnosed with clinical depression, you have to be exhibiting several of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling empty and hopeless
  • Ongoing sadness
  • Worrying about everything
  • Excessively irritable 
  • Feeling worthless 
  • Feeling guilty 
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities 
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fluctuations in sleep pattern
  • Restless
  • Body aches and pains with no cause
  • Stomach problems
  • Indecisiveness
  • Thoughs of suicide

Risk Factors

Not all people experiencing a breakup will fall prey to depression, but some are more likely to if they fall under any of the below categories:

  1. Having a history of depression. 
  2. Are misusing alcohol and drugs. 
  3. Already diagnosed with some sort of mood disorder. 
  4. Suffer from adjustment disorder.
  5. No social support. 
  6. Multiple stressors at the same time. 

How Long Does It Take To Heal A Broken Heart?

The healing process can take very long, but there is no one size that fits all. But when you do have the right support you can get over your heartbreak faster than if you were to do it on your own. Just know that healing will take some time. While everyone is different, one thing that applies to all is the fact that you will need help. You will need support, someone or some people to help you out on the way. While you need help and support, there are some things you can do to help you feel better. 

  • Avoid your ex’s social media. You don’t want to trigger any feelings that will slow down your recovery. 
  • Avoid your ex. Do this as much as possible when it isn’t then you want to limit your contact with them, especially just initially after the breakup. 
  • Set boundaries for your thoughts. If you ruminate, it can be easy to fall back into depression or to go deeper into it. Give yourself some time each day to process your breakup. Say 15 minutes and when that time is over do things to distract you from those thoughts. 
  • Meditate so you can learn to focus on your present more. This can help you with the previous point. 
  • Exercise. There are so many studies that show the myriad of benefits that can come from exercising for just 30 minutes 3 times per week. You can boost your mood by adding exercise into your daily regime. 
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes instead of dwelling on all the possibilities of what you did wrong. Take these lessons and move into your next relationship with confidence having learned from your past. 
  • Talk! It is important to talk about what you are going through. Keeping your feelings bottled up can make it harder for you to recover from your broken heart. 
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Even if you don’t want to talk about your broken heart or relationship, you should not shut people out. If you are not up to meeting them up in person, give them a call, send them a text or have video chat. 
  • Focus on the future, and think about how your next relationship will be positive. 

Will The Pain of Heartbreak Ever Go Away?

Yes, with help, your pain will go away over time. No one can give you a definitive answer as to when that will be, but it will happen as long as you make the right moves and keep up with your treatment. 

Getting Over Your Lost Loved

Statistics suggest that the average person will get over a breakup within 3 months after the fact. This is the point where most people are ready to start dating again. 

Get Professional Help

You can start by checking with your primary care doctor the minute you find yourself in a low mood over multiple days. You can also seek help directly from a mental health professional. If you are concerned about the cost of help you can request a free consultation here from ESTADT Psychological Services.  You may benefit from talk therapy with us. Your medical doctor may prescribe antidepressants depending on the severity of your depression. Most meditations will take approximately 2 to 4 weeks after you start taking them. 

If you have had thoughts of hurting yourself you should contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right away at 800-273-8255. 

We hope these tips on how to deal with depression from a broken heart, help to get you on your feet again. 


Do you struggle with depression?

We have clinicians expert on depression, feel free to read about them, or book a free consultation to review your situation.