Hi there - I'm new here. For about the past 10-12 months I have felt irritable, lost interest in the things I love to do, been extremely reluctant to socialize, and overall very unlike myself. I feel like I have been viewing everything through a thick, frosted window or that all the qualities that make me ME are locked in a heavy metal box inside my soul. I have difficulty sleeping and am now underweight from my lack of appetite. I finally realized that these are all symptoms of depression and sought help. I go to therapy weekly, journal daily, but do not take any medications.
Recently, I feel like I've been emerging from this mental fog and been more and more like the self I like to be. Two weeks ago my boyfriend of four years (and best friend of over a decade) left me. I thought I was going to be with this man for the rest of my life and the heartbreak and confusion I feel is excruciating. I'm so intimidated by how long it will take to feel better. I am really trying to practice self-care, but spend a lot of time blaming myself for the end of the relationship. I feel abandoned when I needed support most and can't help but feel my poor mental health is what drove him away. I am terrified of plunging into another depressive episode.
For now I am continuing therapy and simply trying to make it through each hour of the day, but I feel like I'm barely clinging to a razor thin precipice over a very dark place. One of my best friends died by suicide when I was 15 years old. Experiencing the heartbreaking effect her death had on my community makes me determined to never make the same choice she did, but it's very scary and unsettling to feel like I understand the temptation to harm oneself. My body simply doesn't feel big enough to contain this kind of pain.
My question is how do I differentiate between my sadness associated with the breakup and what may be a bigger mental health problem? They feel so intertwined that I don't know it's even possible to separate the two. How do I know when it may be time to consider taking medication? Any suggestions on how to cope with heartbreak, depression, and the temptation to self harm would be much appreciated. I want to keep myself safe, but feel dangerously close to an unknown edge.