As a recently single person, depression is a natural response to an emotionally traumatic break up. But there is no magic button you can push to stop having depression after break up. For most people, it’s really a matter of time because with time, the emotional scars will heal.
Yet, are you like other people? Is your depression not going away? Has it been long enough? Will you ever get over your ex? Here you can find help in dealing with being depressed after a break up.
Being depressed is quite normal. Everyone suffers from depression every so often for one reason or another. Many people don’t want to go through the process of working through depression because it takes too long to move through it, especially when they are depressed because of a break up. As a result, millions of people seek professional help and ask for prescription medicines to get rid of the break up blues.
In fact, depression is big business for pharmaceutical companies. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about 10% of the U.S. population takes anti-depressants. Amazingly, about 25% of those taking anti-depressant medication have never been diagnosed with a major psychological disorder. But let’s put all that aside. You are depressed and need to know how to deal with depression after break up. You want to know if you depression is healthy and if it will pass sooner rather than later. So, here are some keys to knowing if your break up depression is normal.
At this point, it is probably better to characterize your depression as grief or sadness. Depression after break up is part of the grieving process. When you break up with someone you suffer from a pain of loss. You are sad and want to stop feeling so bad all the time. The Kubler-Ross model of the 5 stages of grief is an excellent guide to help you know if you are experiencing normal depression after break up or if you might need to seek further assistance.
You feel as if the break up can’t possibly be happening. It’s as if you are having a bad dream and want to wake up. Oftentimes, you might wake up in the morning actually believing that your break up never happened, but then you realize it’s really true!
Once you accept that you are broken up, you are likely to become angry and perhaps lash out at your ex. Also, you might be experiencing a heightened sense of annoyance where every little thing that goes wrong causes you to become more angry than usual.
Now you begin to think you can cut deals after your break up. You try to convince your ex that you will change. You make promises you can’t possibly keep to get your ex to come back.
Break up depression causes you to turn inside yourself and wonder about the futility of doing much of anything. You are completely unmotivated and sometimes feel as if you are on cruise control. It is often difficult to try to by-pass or shorten this stage of grieving. It must be worked out over a reasonable period of time.
At this point you have come to terms with your break up. Sure, you still might feel a bit melancholy from time to time, but those episodes are less frequent and less intense. You start having a zest for life once again and feel as if you have broken free from the chains of being depressed after a break up.
It is important to note that your grieving and depression process as a result of breaking up will not necessarily follow the above stages exactly. There is overlap and blurring from one stage to the next. What is important is that you allow yourself to go through this process.
How long should the process last? It depends upon the intensity of your relationship. If you were married for 20 years and broke up, then I would suspect you will be dealing with various aspects of depression and grief for a very long time, if not your entire lifetime. However, depression that results from a break up should really not last more than a couple weeks. Any depression that lasts longer should be treated by a mental health professional.