Heartbreak & Depression

by Kate Bluest

About Kate Bluest

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Based in New York, Kate Bluest has been writing for various online publications since 2005. She has participated in several writing workshops, including the MIT Writing Workshop. Bluest holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from SUNY Empire State College.

Heartbreak & Depression

Heartbreak is crushing grief, sorrow, anguish or distress that many people go through at least once in a lifetime. Depression is a state of sadness. Medically, depression is defined as a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked by sadness, inactivity and difficulty in thinking and concentrating. Depression also involves significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping. Feelings of dejection and hopelessness are common. Sometimes, depression can even lead to suicidal thoughts.

Causes of Heartbreak

Loss is the primary cause of heartbreak. The breakup of a romantic relationship, divorce, and separation can all lead to heartbreak. Other types of loss that can contribute to heartbreak include the loss of a close friend, a pet, a job or your current living situation (e.g., relocation). Any loss that leads to a change in lifestyle can cause heartbreak.

Anatomy of Heartbreak

The first emotion experienced after heartbreak is shock at the loss or denial, followed by pain or guilt about any actions by the heartbroken individual that may have lead to the loss. The next step is anger or bargaining. The individual begins to question why the loss has occurred and may look for ways to regain what was lost. The next step is a period of depression, which is a normal part of heartbreak in which the person finally accepts the loss. After acceptance of the loss, the individual realizes she can live without the person or situation and moves forward with her life.

Recovering from a Broken Heart

According to Dr. Phil, moving past the pain of a breakup is vitally important. Allowing your self to grieve and be angry about the loss is a natural part of recovering from a broken heart, but do not wallow there. Focus on improving your relationship with yourself and being clear about your intentions about whether or not you want the lost relationship or situation back. Avoid putting yourself in humiliating situations that you will look back on and cringe. Relationships involve risk, but according to Dr. Phil, you should not allow a negative situation to interfere with your ability to trust. It is better to go through life loving and laughing than to go through life suspicious.

Clinical Depression

Symptoms of depression include persistent sadness, hopelessness, emotional exhaustion and lethargy. A depressed person experiences a loss of ability to concentrate, make decisions and a loss of interest in things he used to enjoy. If an individual still experiences these symptoms two months after the heartbreak, this indicates that he may be clinically depressed and should seek the help of a mental health professional qualified to treat depression with either therapy or medication.

Cardiomyopathy

Many stories build around the premise of a person dying from a broken heart. Cardiomyopathy is a medical condition where sudden emotional stress can result in a severe heart muscle weakness that mimics a classic heart attack. This condition is known informally as "broken heart" syndrome. "Broken heart" syndrome most commonly occurs in middle-aged or elderly women after a sudden emotional stress. Cardiomyopathy can be fatal, but the good news is that if the patient lives, recovery occurs much more rapidly than it would with a traditional heart attack.

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  • heart to break it is forbidden! image by Andrey Khritin from Fotolia.com