Nov 062009

After a breakup, the sadness and depression you feel can be overwhelming and suffocating. These tips will help you survive the pain of breaking up.

First, a quip from a famous fairy tale:

“The horror of that moment,” said the King. “I shall never, never forget!”

“You will, though,” said the Queen, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.

You will get past your sad and depressed feelings after breaking up – but you need to focus your energy and thoughts on healing and moving on. You can’t dwell the relationship breakup itself. In other words, you can’t make a “memorandum” of your breakup, of your feelings of sadness and depression!

In Letting Go of Someone You Love I interviewed psychologists, life coaches, and counselors to get their best advice for surviving depression after a breakup. The 75 tips will help you heal and find happiness, and move on after a bad breakup.

Depression After Breaking Up – What to Expect and How to Survive

Expect feelings of rejection and loneliness to come in waves

“Feelings of rejection may run high because we often measure the results of our efforts in terms of whether or not the world accepts or rejects us,” says Dr. Phil. Sometimes, another person’s reaction can be a barometer of our worth and value. “When the love of our life leaves us, any past rejection issues can be magnified.” You may feel unworthy, not good enough or like damaged goods. A divorce may also signify the failure of your dream, because you couldn’t make the marriage work.

To survive, remember that a marriage or relationship breakup doesn’t change your value as a woman or man. You didn’t break up because of a failure on your part; the relationship failed for its own reasons.

You will break free from the past after breaking up, but it takes time.

Accept the fear you’ll never be loved again

If you’ve been married for many years, you may think you won’t be able to survive emotionally, socially, or financially without your partner. You are entering a new phase of your life and don’t know what to expect.

Surround yourself with a support group. Gather your old friends around you, and be deliberate about making new friends. Don’t focus on the fear of never being loved again; instead give yourself the gift of self-care, self-love, and self-soothing. This relationship breakup help involves surviving your emotions by accepting them.

To survive depression after breaking up, read Starting Over After Your Relationship Ends – 8 Tips for New Beginnings.

Don’t focus on the best parts of the relationship

“It’s just all too easy, once you separate from an irreconcilable situation, to remember and focus on only the good,” Dr. Phil writes. You may find yourself forgetting the irritating habits of your partner and only remembering the nice and sweet things he or she did for you. “By doing this, it’s very easy to fool yourself into wishing that you were back in the relationship and rationalizing that things actually weren’t that bad.”

To survive this “selective memory” experience, don’t contact your ex-partner in a weak or lonely moment. “Once you’re out, stay out, unless one or both of you earns your way back in,” says Dr Phil. Focus on surviving sadness and depression after breaking up without wishing you were getting back together.

Other emotions after breaking up include anger, shock, bitterness, and loss. It takes time to survive heartbreak and feel happy again — but it will happen!

For more tips on surviving sadness and depression after breaking up, read Can’t Get Over the Break Up? How to Move Through the Pain.

You WILL live, love, and be happy again – it just takes time to heal.

Expressing how you feel in writing can help you survive depression after breaking up. Maybe it’s time to start a journal?

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  61 Responses to “Depression After Breaking Up – What to Expect and How to Survive”

  1. Dear Edith,

    I am so sorry that you are going through this sad breakup. It sounds like he took advantage of you and pushed you into doing things you were not ready for. He used you.

    The best form of help is family and friends! Can you stay with someone you trust for awhile, until you get back on your feet?

    Have you decided what you will do with your baby? I encourage you to think and talk about all your options – there is no easy answer, but you can find the best option for you.

    How are you doing?