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Symptoms Of Breakup Depression

13 Symptoms Of Breakup Depression You Should Know.

Writen By: Faiza Saifur
Reviewed By: Huma Khan
Publish Date: August 14, 2023

Breakups are quite painful. Your life might turn upside down when a relationship ends, and a variety of emotions can be brought on. While some individuals easily move on once a relationship ends, others could go through the symptoms of breakup depression.

It may feel as though your life is crumbling at this sad moment. Although grief and heightened emotions are common responses to a breakup, it’s crucial to know the symptoms of breakup depression.

So the question is, Can a breakup lead to depression? Yeah, of course. Even though not all sadness is related to depression, it is possible to experience symptoms of depression after a breakup.

Depression might be a part of your emotional reaction to ending a romantic relationship, depending on your personal history. If you don’t receive the right mental health support, symptoms could linger for a while.

Key Takeaways:

Symptoms of breakup depression appear when a romantic relationship ends, and they make you feel very sad, angry, or confused.

It’s okay to feel these emotions, and it’s important to talk about them instead of keeping them inside.

Sometimes, breakup depression can affect your body, making it hard to sleep or eat properly.

During this time, you might want to be alone and not do things you used to enjoy.

To feel better, try doing things that make you feel good, like exercising or spending time with people who care about you.

Don’t keep thinking about the past or blaming yourself. Focus on what you can do now and what good things the future might bring.

If you feel really bad and have thoughts of hurting yourself, talk to someone you trust right away and get help from a professional.

Healing from breakup depression takes time, so be patient with yourself and don’t rush the process.

Talking to a therapist or counselor can help you deal with breakup depression and find new ways to feel better.

Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to friends and family for support.

Symptoms of Breakup Depression

Sadness is not the same as depression. After terminating a relationship, you could feel really sad, but it doesn’t indicate you’re depressed.

It could be crucial to recognize the difference. This could make it easier for you to control your emotions and decide whether you might benefit from expert medical assistance.

Major depressive disorder and, occasionally, clinical depression are the medical terms for what is commonly referred to as depression.

In some people, stressful life events like the end of a meaningful relationship can result in severe depressive episodes.  

Let’s go through the symptoms of breakup depression.

  1. Feeling very sad and crying a lot: 

After a breakup, you may feel extremely unhappy and find yourself crying frequently. It’s like an overwhelming feeling of sorrow and loss. 

“She felt very sad after the breakup and couldn’t stop crying.”

  1. Losing interest in things you used to enjoy: 

Activities that once brought joy and excitement may no longer appeal to you. It’s as if the spark is gone, and you feel less enthusiastic about things you once liked. 

“He used to love playing soccer, but after the breakup, he lost interest in it.”

  1. Having trouble sleeping: 

The emotional turmoil of the breakup can disrupt your sleep patterns. You might find it hard to fall asleep, wake up frequently during the night, or have trouble staying asleep. 

“Since the breakup, she has had trouble sleeping and stays awake for hours.”

  1. Changes in appetite: 

Your eating habits may transform. You might experience a loss of appetite and not feel hungry, or, on the contrary, you might turn to food for comfort and eat more than usual. 

“After the breakup, he lost his appetite and didn’t feel like eating even if he was presented with his favorite Domino pizza.”

  1. Feeling tired all the time: 

The emotional strain of a breakup can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. It’s as if you have low energy levels and constantly feel tired. 

“She felt exhausted throughout the day, even after a full night’s sleep.”

  1. Finding it difficult to focus: 

The emotional distress caused by the breakup can make it hard to concentrate on tasks or pay attention to things around you. 

“After the breakup, he couldn’t concentrate on his schoolwork.”

  1. Feeling guilty or worthless: 

You might blame yourself for the end of the relationship or feel like you are not good enough. It’s as if you question your worth and feel undeserving of love. 

“She felt worthless after the breakup and blamed herself for everything.”

  1. Avoiding people and activities: 

The pain of the breakup might lead you to withdraw from social interactions and avoid the things you used to enjoy. 

He tended to spend more time in his room after the breakup, and didn’t want to see anyone, distancing himself from friends and family.”

  1. Having physical problems: 

The emotional distress from the breakup can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, body aches, or other discomforts. 

“Since the breakup, she started having frequent headaches.”

  1. Getting easily upset or sensitive: 

You might become more emotionally sensitive and get upset easily, especially when something reminds you of a past relationship. 

“He became very sensitive and cried whenever he saw their pictures together.”

  1. Feeling worried and anxious: 

The uncertainty about the future and fear of being alone can lead to feelings of worry and anxiety. It’s as if you’re constantly on edge and apprehensive about what’s to come. 

“After the breakup, her persistent worry about loneliness seemed to keep her on edge.”

  1. More irritability and anger.

Experiencing heightened irritability and anger following a breakup is not uncommon. The mix of emotions brought on by the end of a relationship can manifest as intense frustration and a short fuse. It’s crucial to recognize these symptoms as part of breakup depression.

“Following the breakup, she found herself easily irritated and frequently angry, even at small things.”

  1. Thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide. 

Experiencing persistent thoughts about death, self-harm, or suicide can be a concerning symptom of breakup depression. If you or someone you know is going through this, it’s crucial to seek immediate support from a mental health professional or a helpline. Your well-being is important, and there are people who can provide the help you need.

“She kept thinking about ending her life after the breakup because the world seemed useless to her and she felt worthless.”

Why do Breakups cause Depression?

Breakups can be incredibly difficult and emotionally challenging for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the main factors that contribute to the difficulty of breakups and why they can sometimes lead to depression:

  • Loss of emotional connection: During a relationship, people develop deep emotional bonds with their partners. When the relationship ends, there is a significant loss of emotional connection, which can be painful and disorienting.
  • Grief over the loss: A breakup can trigger feelings of grief similar to those experienced when dealing with the death of a loved one. It involves mourning the loss of the relationship, the future that was envisioned together, and the life that was shared.
  • Change and uncertainty: Breakups bring about significant changes in a person’s life. Suddenly, there is uncertainty about the future, and this can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing.
  • Self-esteem and self-worth: Breakups can harm one’s self-esteem and self-worth. People may question their desirability, worthiness of love, and whether they are deserving of someone else.
  • Social identity: A relationship can become a significant part of a person’s identity. When the relationship ends, they may feel like they have lost a part of themselves or their social identity.
  • Loneliness and isolation: After a breakup, people may feel isolated and lonely, especially if they shared many aspects of their life with their former partner.
  • Negative emotions: Breakups are often accompanied by strong negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, and betrayal. Dealing with these emotions can be challenging and can lead to depression.
  • Ruminating thoughts: People tend to replay the past and think about what went wrong or what could have been done differently. This rumination can perpetuate negative feelings and prevent healing.
  • Fear of being alone: The fear of being alone or not finding love again can also contribute to emotional distress after a breakup.
  • Physical health effects: Emotional distress from a breakup can lead to sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and physical exhaustion, which can further exacerbate depressive feelings.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Symptoms of a Breakup

Healthy Symptoms of Breakup:

  • Sadness and Grief: Feeling sad and going through a grieving process is natural after a breakup. It shows that the person is acknowledging their emotions and allowing themselves to heal.
  • Acceptance: A healthy reaction involves accepting that the relationship has ended and recognizing that it’s a part of life’s journey.
  • Seeking Support: Healthy individuals seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to talk about their feelings and emotions during this challenging time.
  • Self-Reflection: Engaging in self-reflection and trying to understand what went wrong in the relationship and what can be learned from the experience.
  • Focusing on Self-Care: Taking care of oneself through activities like exercise, spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, and practicing self-compassion.
  • Gradual Recovery: Healing from a breakup is a gradual process, and healthy individuals understand that it takes time to feel better.

Unhealthy Symptoms of a Breakup:

  • Prolonged Isolation: Withdrawing from social interactions and isolating oneself for an extended period can hinder the healing process.
  • Obsessive Thoughts and Stalking: Constantly thinking about the ex-partner, stalking them on social media, or trying to keep tabs on their life can be unhealthy and prevent moving on.
  • Excessive Self-Blame: Continuously blaming oneself for the breakup and feeling unworthy of love or happiness.
  • Reckless Behavior: Engaging in reckless or self-destructive behavior as a way to cope with pain, such as excessive drinking, drug use, or risky actions.
  • Avoiding Emotions: Suppressing or avoiding emotions related to the breakup can lead to emotional numbness or detachment.
  • Inability to Function: Being unable to carry out daily responsibilities or maintain relationships due to overwhelming emotions.
  • Bitterness and Resentment: Holding onto bitterness, anger, or resentment towards the ex-partner can hinder the healing process.

Risk Factors for Breakup Depression

Most people do not experience depression following a breakup. However, it is more likely to occur in particular circumstances. This includes the following:

  • If you’ve previously experienced a depressive episode, you’re more likely to experience another one.
  • You are addicted to drugs and booze. A substance use disorder might conceal a concealed mood condition or exacerbate depression.
  • You suffer from an adjustment condition. This is a condition in which you have an extremely strong reaction to stress or sudden change. It may take 3-6 months for your depression symptoms to subside. 
  • You are socially isolated. When you are depressed, you may withdraw from your friends and family. On the other hand, loneliness can exacerbate your sadness.
  • You are dealing with multiple triggers at the same time. If you have to move, obtain a new job, or experience another type of change or loss at the same time, your breakup may be more difficult to handle.

How to heal from a breakup

It will take time, but there are actions you can take to move on from your breakup. Because everyone is unique, what works for one person may not work for another. What matters is that you take care of yourself along the way.

Here are some healthy strategies to improve your mood:

1. Set mental boundaries. 

If you ruminate, you are more prone to become depressed. That is when you think about something repeatedly. You might be able to get some control over your obsessive thoughts if you set aside a specific period each day, say, 30 minutes, to process your breakup.

2. Meditate

Mindfulness meditation encourages you to be present in the moment. According to research, the technique may help you worry and ruminate less.

3. Exercise

Physical activity a few times per week for 5-7 months may help some people reduce their feelings of depression, as it boosts your “feel good” hormones.

4. Avoid using social media. 

You might feel tempted to contact your ex. However, these reminders may elicit negative emotions and impede your recovery.

5. Take it easy on yourself.

A breakup can be damaging to your self-esteem. Rather than obsessing over what went wrong, attempt to learn from your mistakes. That will help you develop stronger connections in the future.

6. Discuss how you’re doing. 

Don’t bottle up your emotions. According to one study, respondents felt better after meeting with researchers to discuss how well they were handling their breakup.

7. Avoid isolating yourself. 

Even if you don’t talk about your split, it’s critical to maintain contact with others. Text or video chat with friends or family if you can’t meet in person.

8. Stay away from the person you broke up with. 

This is not always possible, particularly if you have children. However, attempt to limit contact as much as possible immediately following the breakup.


What are some strategies to manage breakup depression?

Avoid These Behaviors:

  • Stalking your ex.
  • Keeping their pictures and revisiting old conversations.
  • Listening to sad songs that can intensify your emotions.

Seek Professional Help:

  • Consider therapy if you’re struggling to cope with your condition.
  • A qualified mental health professional can offer guidance and support on your journey towards healing and recovery.

How long do breakup depression symptoms typically last?

The duration of symptoms can vary from person to person. While some people may start to feel better after a few weeks, others might experience symptoms for several months.

When should I seek professional help for breakup depression symptoms?

If your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, lasting for an extended period, or if you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional.

Is breakup depression a normal reaction?

Feeling sad and distressed after a breakup is a normal reaction, but if the symptoms are overwhelming and persistent, it might indicate a more serious issue that requires attention.

Can breakup depression affect physical health?

Yes, the emotional stress of breakup depression can impact physical health, leading to symptoms like headaches, body aches, and a weakened immune system.

Can breakup depression affect future relationships?

Breakup depression can impact how you approach and engage in future relationships. It’s important to address and manage these emotions before they negatively affect your well-being and future connections.

Wrapping up!

Humans experience grief and sadness in reaction to stressful and difficult life situations. Breakups have been shown in studies to have a wide range of substantial effects on people. Individuals describe feelings of distress, loneliness, and loss of self-esteem after the termination of a relationship.

Allow yourself time to mourn the relationship’s loss. Mourning, despair, frustration, bargaining, wrath, denial, and remorse are all possible reactions. It is an adjustment period, so give yourself as much time as you need to feel, process, and heal. While these feelings are painful, they normally begin to shift over time as you heal and recuperate cognitively, emotionally, and relationally from the breakup.

If your symptoms appear to be more severe than typical grief following a breakup, or if your symptoms appear to be worsening, consult a healthcare professional..