Are you feeling depressed after a break up? Are you totally miserable and wondering why?
Feeling depressed after a break up is totally natural. While it’s not surprising that you are devastated because your heart has been damaged, there are other, sometimes surprising, reasons why you are feeling depressed and those reasons might be easier to manage if you have some awareness about them.
Here are 5 surprising reasons you might be feeling depressed after a break up.
#1 – Fear.
When we are going through the pain of a break up we are experiencing fear in many forms.
We are afraid that we will be forever alone, that no one will ever love us again. We are afraid that we are unlovable. We are afraid that we are flawed. We are afraid that we will never be happy. We are afraid that our dreams of marriage and a family will never come true.
These fears are certainly understandable but, fortunately, they are mostly like completely unfounded even if they feel really true to you in this moment.
I have never yet met someone who broke up with someone and never found another person to love. There are millions of people out there and at least one more of them is out there waiting for you.
You are definitely not un-loveable or flawed – you just weren’t well matched with your ex.
You will be happy again. I know that it’s hard to imagine right now as you go through the pain of a break up but you will be!
And there is still plenty of time for your dreams to come true.
One of the reasons we feel so much pain is because of our fear. It can be hard to manage but it can be easier to push back on if we are aware of exactly what we are afraid of! So, take a look at what you are afraid of and question if what you fear is really true.
#2 – Boredom.
I know, you are depressed after a break up and believe that you will never be happy again. And your depression is warranted. But I would also argue that a lot of your depression comes from sheer boredom.
When we break up with someone, we lose a playmate. Someone to watch TV with, to go out to dinner with, to fool around with, to just hang out with during those down times. And now you don’t have that person.
For a lot of people, when they are feeling depressed after a break up, they stop doing things. They don’t feel like doing things because they are depressed but they also aren’t used to doing things without their person so they don’t do anything at all. As a result, they are bored and they spend lots of time thinking about their ex and they get depressed.
I would encourage you to do whatever you can to keep yourself busy. I was just talking to a client who said that just taking a trip to Starbucks brightened her day, at least temporarily. Sitting at home, obsessing, was sucking the life out of her!
I know it’s hard during these times of Covid to keep yourself busy but now is the time to work to do so. Facetime with friends, read books, get into shape, learn something new, watch rom-coms with your mom, whatever you can do to keep yourself busy and not bored.
Honestly, you might not be missing your ex as much as you think you are and keeping yourself busy might prove that!
#3 -Wasted time.
It’s interesting – many of my clients are depressed after a break up because they lament the time that they invested in their ex. Everyone has hopes and dreams and when they lose someone, they feel like they have had to let go of their hopes and dreams forever.
Many people stay in relationships that aren’t serving them because they have ‘invested so much time already.’ They don’t want to have to go back to online dating and start all over again. So, they stay. And then, when the relationship eventually fails anyway, they have wasted even more time.
If you are obsessing about the time wasted in a relationship with your ex, let it go. Yes, it ultimately didn’t work out but I am guessing that you had some really good times and perhaps you have even learned some things about yourself that will help you in future relationships.
#4 – Self Doubt.
Many of us don’t realize that when we are feeling depressed after a break up it’s because we are feeling so badly about ourselves.
If we are left by someone, we question why we weren’t good enough. If we do the leaving, we wonder what is wrong with us that we can’t find a steady relationship. We truly believe that we are flawed in some deep way and that we will never be happy with someone and get the things we want in our lives.
Let me tell you, there is NOTHING wrong with you. Yes, you weren’t well matched with your ex but that doesn’t mean you are flawed. Of course, I encourage everyone to take a good look at themselves and see what they have learned over the course of the relationship but that doesn’t mean that you are damaged or unloveable in any way just that you, like everyone, are a work in progress and a human being.
You are how you are. If someone doesn’t see how amazing you are, they aren’t worthy of you. If you chose a partner in error, remember we all make mistakes.
The important thing is to pick yourself back up, have faith in yourself and your ability to connect and keep on looking for your happily ever after! You are absolutely worthy of a happily ever after!
#5 – The Big Picture.
One of things that people really don’t notice when they are feeling depressed after a break up is that there is a whole lot more depressing stuff going on in the world. And those things make our depression worse.
I have a client who is struggling big time with a broken heart and every day focuses in on it being the source of her depression. The reality is is that she is also struggling with a daughter she is estranged from, job insecurity and Covid-19. Those are all things that are mostly out of her control so it’s hard to face them. And when she feels badly about them, she defaults back to ruminating about her break up. Instead of understanding that she has a lot of challenges in the world, she blames all of her unhappiness on her broken heart.
So, ask yourself, what are you struggling with these days, other than your break up? Are some of those things things that you haven’t dealt with because focusing on your broken heart is easier? If the answer is yes, understand that part of the depression that you are feeling are those things and not just your broken heart!
Feeling depressed after a break up is totally natural. It’s not fun but it’s natural.
It is surprising that often times what we feel is making us so depressed, the end of our relationship, is not necessarily the only thing that is making us depressed.
We are depressed because we are afraid of the future, because we are bored, because we are struggling with wasted time and self doubt and because the world is damn hard place to cope with these days.
So, as you ride out your broken heart, take stock of these 5 surprising reasons you might be feeling depressed after a break up and know that you will get through this time and out the other side better than ever!
You can do it!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.