Research evidence to suggest breakups can increase the chances of chronic depression

Breakups are the worst. They make you feel as if your entire world has slipped under your feet. You quickly lose interest in things you used to enjoy declining yourself in utter isolation.

While it is acceptable to consider a breakup as a normal course of life, it can be problematic at times. Among other side effects that the person may exhibit, symptoms of depression may start to occur. In that sense, it becomes pertinent on the person to seek medical help or therapy as timely as possible.

There are ways to compare the normal effects of breakups and the effects which resonate into chronic depression, those will be discussed shortly in this article. But having said that, a new study confirms that ending a relationship can instigate depressive phases in an individual.

What did the study conclude about depression & breakups?

The study was conducted by a group of scientists associated with Virginia State University and the City University of New York. The main emphasis was to investigate the behavior of around 70 individuals who had recently ended terms with their partner.

Accordingly, the behavioral changes, mood reactions and any symptoms of depression were observed. For every said indicator, a said score was assigned to arrive at a more concrete relationship. Additionally, scientists also considered the reason for the breakup to find whether it had any effect.

The research spanned for a period of 12 months.

Once the data was collected the findings were then published in the Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology. The results showed that firstly, breakups did initiate a set of hormonal changes that led to mood disruption. Participants were more likely to feel bummed out losing interest in the normal course of life.

While a portion of the individuals coped with the breakup well, others started exhibiting signs of depression. They reported a strong sense of internal stability and other symptoms which confirmed the original hypothesis.

Interestingly enough, the breakups that happened as a result of third-party involvement, were more likely to worsen the mental situation of the individual. This compared with other reasons such as moving away from town or falling out of love etc.

As concluding remarks, scientists have stated that empirical evidence does suggest a relationship between depression and breakups. Which in a way calls for individuals to seek out medication help or book an appointment with a therapist.

A Normal Breakup Effects or Depression?

The final part of the discussion leads us to differentiate between a normal breakup effect and depression. While you may tend to confuse the two, there actually lies a thin line in between. Observing the signs of the two and then deciding your course of action seems the right way out.

Here are some of the normal effects of a breakup that are common to most and should not prolong. Even for some medical experts, there are healthy indicators of a normal breakup.

  • Feeling angry
  • Being frustrated with yourself
  • Feeling unwanted and lonely
  • Lacking motivation and not interested in certain activities
  • Crying and emotional breakdowns.

On the contrary, the following are the signs that may tell that you might be exhibiting symptoms of depression.

  • Feeling utterly sad for a prolonged period of time
  • Constant despair and hopelessness
  • Stepping away from things and activities that would previously keep your interest
  • Reduced hunger and weakness
  • Suicidal thoughts and inclination towards self-harm
  • Insomnia or sleeping way more than usual
  • Display of anger, resentment, and fear

Either way, do not hesitate to visit a therapist for a more comprehensive inference of your situation.


Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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