The great poet Oscar Wilde has rightly said, “The heart was made to be broken.” Breakups are never easy. Ending a relationship can trigger a lot of overwhelming emotions- anger, bitterness, sadness, and guilt. For some, it is easier to move on whereas others don’t have it easy. For the latter, breakups can be more than dealing with emotions. A separation can also take a toll on their physical and mental health.
While being in a state of heightened emotions and feeling sad is a part and parcel of heartbreak, if this sadness is prolonged then it is a sign that something’s wrong. Extended periods of sadness and apathy can lead to depression.
How do you know if your heartbreak has turned into depression?
Sadness and having lost interest in activities is normal after a heartbreak. But if these feelings or symptoms do not improve after a while, then you may be suffering from depression. You must visit a specialist if you have most of these following symptoms for a period of two weeks post your breakup or heartbreak:
- Loss in activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Poor decision-making
- Having low energy or lethargy
- Feeling sad and lonely
- Loss of appetite
- Weight fluctuations- excess weight gain or loss
- Sleeping too much or too less
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Feeling suicidal
Broken heart syndrome is real
Broken heart syndrome is a physiological condition similar to a heart attack that is triggered in response to intense physical or emotional stress. The patients experience symptoms such as chest tightness and shortness of breath which is similar to the symptoms of a heart attack. But the condition is not serious since there are no blocked arteries and people make full recovery.
One surprising fact is that women are more likely to suffer from broken heart syndrome. The depths of being heartbroken can lead to high blood pressure, high heart rate, low immunity, and even weakness. Therefore, profound sadness does not only affect your mind but significantly impacts your body as well.
Treatment for depression from heartbreak
Experts say that if you experience depression after a heartbreak, the symptoms get better after 3 months. As time will pass, your situation will improve and you will feel better eventually. Mild depression can be handled by practising self-care and the support of loved ones. If your symptoms have become severe and are not going away, then you need professional help. Counselling can prove to be very helpful. In some extreme cases, the therapist may suggest medicines like antidepressants.
Some useful tips to get over a heartbreak
Keep yourself busy: Develop a hobby, learn a musical instrument, read, write, or walk. Distract yourself as much as possible by involving yourself in activities.
Indulge in physical activity: A physical activity will not only keep you fit but will also improve your mood drastically. It does not have to be hitting the gym, you may also go for sports, walking, or dancing.
Get your beauty sleep: A good night’s sleep cures half your emotional problems. Maintaining proper sleep hygiene can improve your mental health significantly.
Support and self-care: Surround yourself with people who care for you. Also, make self-care a priority and necessity.
Words to remember
A heartbreak can cause emotional turmoil and even challenge your self-belief. Being in control of yourself and your situations can help you feel more empowered. If you choose to ignore your depressive symptoms, you may experience serious health risks like panic attacks, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.
If you are facing troubles moving on after a breakup, it is best you discuss your issues with a mental health expert. Consulting a therapist will not help you to get over the breakup but also gives you clarity of the failed relationship which will ensure that you are ready to fall in love all over again.