Relationship problems are diverse and they can range from breakups, divorce, feeling trapped in a relationship to physical and emotional abuse. While we have helped people in all of these scenarios, one of the common reasons for people to see us at Private Space Medical is when they are distressed after a breakup or divorce.
Couples break up for a variety of reasons. There could be a third party, differences in values, incompatible personalities, dissatisfaction with intimacy, even emotional or physical abuse.
Sadness after a breakup is normal and many people will experience it in their lives. It can be a very painful and distressing experience. Some people may experience low mood while others become anxious, develop low self-esteem and feel insecure about their future. They may worry about never finding someone who will love them.
At the start, some people experience a loss of identity, as if they no longer know who they are anymore. In a relationship, we pick up and accommodate each other’s likes and dislikes, even food preferences. It is no wonder that we lose a part of our identity when the relationship ends.
There may be days when the longing and yearning becomes overwhelming and they try to reach out to their ex-partners. On other days, there can be intense anger. When they discover that the ex-partner has found a new partner, it can cause intense emotions of anger and sadness and cause them to question the reason for the break-up.
Sometimes, ex-partners may need to remain in contact due to co-parenting or other shared responsibilities. This can result in replays of intense complex emotions. There are other practical challenges eg. financial difficulties if one was financially dependent on the ex-partner. Divorce couples may face each other off in Court for protracted periods to settle disputes – certainly a very stressful process.
When to seek professional help
Not everyone can bounce back quickly and move on with optimism. Some people develop depression after a breakup. Seek professional help if there is prolonged sadness that lasts more than 2 weeks. People with depression no longer feel joy in many aspects of life and lose interest in their usual activities. Watch out for symptoms such as poor sleep, loss of appetite, poor focus, thoughts that life is meaningless and suicidal thoughts.
- See a psychiatrist and psychologist if you have trouble moving on from a relationship or if you suspect you have depression. We hope to provide you with a safe space to grief over the loss of the relationship. Many people find therapy to be a helpful way to organize their thoughts and make sense of the relationship and its end. Sometimes, we uncover a pattern of seeking toxic relationships and we help the client understand why this may be the case.
- The psychiatrist or psychologist will also provide practical tips. For example, we can help motivate you to develop new routines as it can get lonely without a default companion. Lifestyle strategies to refocus on self-care – like exercising (joining a gym class or going for a slow jog) and keeping to a balanced diet should not be neglected. Try reaching out to close friends to find support. At some point, consider unfollowing your ex-partner on social media, at least for the time being.
- In cases of depression, medications can improve mood and reducing rumination about the relationship. A psychiatrist can provide MC for a period of recuperation and, in cases of divorce proceedings, provide medical reports to aid the legal process.
Get Help Today
Relationship problems are part and parcel of life. But we can proactively learn the skills to manage these difficulties, rather than become stuck and held hostage by them. With effective treatment, we hope you can heal from the pain, mend or move on from important relationships in your life, and live a meaningful life.