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  • Writer's pictureAttentive Psychotherapy & Counseling Center

Breaking Up is Hard to Do




Therapy Can Help You Cope With Heartbreak


No matter what Instagram may tell you, breakups are never easy. Even if the split is mutual or amicable, the emotional fallout can be intense and long-lasting. At times, a breakup can even significantly impact your mental health.


If you're struggling to cope with your breakup, you don't have to do it alone. This blog will explore the common stages of a breakup, signs that therapy may be in order, and some of the benefits therapy can have as you put the pieces of your heart back together.





Stages of a breakup

Breakups can be messy, complicated, and look different for everyone. However, there are some common stages that people tend to go through after a breakup. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Sound familiar? These are also the five stages of grief. Yep, a breakup can be a grieving process.





Denial

During the denial stage, you may find it hard to believe that your relationship is really over. This can include idealizing your ex-partner and your time together, or convincing yourself that things weren't really that bad.


Anger

Frustration, resentment, and rage--All of these emotions may come up in the process. You might feel angry at your ex-partner, yourself, or the situation as a whole. Anger can be an overwhelming emotion. Be sure to find healthy outlets for your anger, like exercise, journaling, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist.


Bargaining

This is where the "what if's" and "if only's" start to creep in. You may find yourself calling up your ex-partner to try to negotiate a different situation and change the outcome of the breakup.


Depression

Depression is marked by sadness, hopelessness, and despair. You may struggle to find joy in things that once brought you happiness or find yourself withdrawing from social activities and relationships.


Acceptance

Ah, the final stage. Acceptance may not mean you're over your ex-partner or don't feel any pain. Rather, it means that you're able to acknowledge the reality of the situation and start to move forward.





Do you need a therapist for your breakup?

If your post-breakup blues include persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, difficulty sleeping or eating, social withdrawal, suffering school or work performance, substance abuse, or self-harm, then it's time to contact a mental health professional.


Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness. In fact, it's a sign of self-love. Getting a therapist's support during a breakup shows that you're willing to take the necessary steps to cope with the emotional aftermath of your breakup in a healthy, constructive way.


A trained therapist will help you process your emotions, identify unhelpful thought patterns, and develop coping strategies for the future. With time and self-care, you'll move forward from this breakup with a treasure trove of valuable lessons you've learned about life, love, and yourself. Remember: The end of this chapter is not the end of your story. It's the beginning of a brighter future.



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