Depression and Break-ups
Break ups are a hard time for anyone, especially if the relationship ended on bad terms. Most of us can relate to the negative feelings experienced after a break up. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship was, whether it was long distance or whether you were serious or not – a break-up can be rough to cope with, and an especially difficult time with someone suffering from depression.
We always hear the same thing from the people around us when it comes to how to deal with a break-up: “There’s plenty of other fish in the sea.” “Just get over them.” “You can do better.” “Find something to take your mind off them.”
Even though the people who say these things are usually trying to help you through, this is not always the best advice. If you suffer from depression, a break up can make things worse for you. It can affect any previous steps to recovery, leave you with a sense of hopelessness, decrease your feelings of self-worth and can cause you to push yourself away from those around you.
Those with depression may experience some or all of these whilst going through a break-up:
Relapse: Those who have taken steps towards recovery may lose all hope of a happier and healthier future after separating from their partner. They may begin to ignore any progress they have made with improving their daily life with depression and their symptoms may become intense and difficult to deal with once again.
Feelings of worthlessness: Dealing with depression may include the feeling of worthlessness and low self-esteem. When a break-up occurs these feelings may increase and the person may believe that they are not good enough to be in a relationship. They may blame themselves for the break up to a degree that it can seriously affect their mental wellbeing. These feelings may lead to serious problems such as self-harm, substance abuse and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Anti-social behaviour: It can be normal for people to want to spend time alone after a break-up and try to deal with how to move on and how to deal with their thoughts. However with depression these feelings may become prolonged. A person suffering with depression may choose to spend weeks or months with little to no social activity after a breakup. This can lead to problems alongside other symptoms of depression such as the feelings of worthlessness. They may shut out their family and friends and choose to avoid social situations and spend more time in bed or staying in their home.
Next page: coping with the after-math.