New here - How do I handle depression... - Mental Health Sup...

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New here - How do I handle depression and heartbreak?

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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.

8 Replies
Hidden
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Oh man, friend. I know EXACTLY what you’re going through. (Except for the reemergence!) I am also battling heartbreak and mental illness, also too skinny. So far the only things that have helped me these past couple week- leaning on the rest of my support system, loud Netflix/Hulu all the time, my journal, and Harry Potter. I also smash potatoes with a mallet and squeeze spiky laundry fluffing balls. I relate to you so hard, friend. Reach out to me if you feel like you can

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Oh my goodness, thank you so much for your response. It's nice to feel less alone. I am using a lot of the same coping techniques, especially the Harry Potter! I am very fortunate to also have an amazing support system, but I'm so scared of becoming too much of a burden for them, as I feel like that's what happened with my now ex. We have known each other since we were 15 (I am now 27) and I truly thought it would take the apocalypse for him to stop loving and caring about me. After 12 years of knowing one another and 4 of dating and living together, it's like he found out who the true me is and she's just not worth it. I'm scared everybody else is going to find out too.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with similar emotions. I hope the Netflix, journaling, HP, potato smashing (I am intrigued to try that), and laundry balls are helping in their small way. Thank you thank you thank you for the support.

Hidden
Hidden

Hello, so sorry to hear about the tough time you are experiencing but it's good that you have reached out. There are many caring people here who will identify with you and also offer support, empathy and reassurance - in fact, whatever you ask, there is always somebody who responds with some wise words. I guess, we all, without exception, experience good and bad in our lives and the good can be fantastic but, yes, unfortunately, the bad can sometimes be awful. We think we have some control over events, but, the reality is, we only have control over our response to them, and that is something many struggle with. How to cope? You have definitely taken a positive step forward by seeking counselling and I think it would be beneficial at least discussing circumstances with your doctor, even if you still decide against medication to support you. Please don't blame yourself or feel guilt. We all have to take responsibility for our actions but that is not the same as attaching blame. Keep taking small steps forward, just focus on a few positives each day, practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself, seek the support of friends and family and be reassured that the bad time will pass and good things will happen again. Take care,

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Thank you for your support. I am so touched by the empathy of this community. Relinquishing control has been very hard for me and remembering the good times feels like a punch in the stomach. Hopefully that will subside a little bit with each step forward. Thank you again for your response.

Sounds like new begginings are coming your way..everything happens for a reason..I feel you..you will find strength within you..only you can do it and you will..along will come wisdom..I feel your pain.. many of us have gone through break ups and the pain that comes with it..its normal.. time heals.. also there's a time for everything..patience is a virtue..honestly, I feel good vibes for you..your not alone on this but I can assure you, bigger and better things are coming your way..i promise..don't get stuck..Just keep on moving forward.. strength and faith..

Hidden
Hidden in reply to ellinaki

Thank you so much for your empathetic response. It's bewildering to me how common the break-up experience is. It certainly makes me feel less alone, but also so overwhelmed - how do people possibly survive this? But they do and that resiliency is inspiring. The only way out is through. Thank you so much for the support.

ellinaki
ellinaki in reply to Hidden

You will get through it..you will come to terms with yourself..at times like this we get hurt cause we think of what the other person might have thought of us and also missing their company and being alone and still in love..but you see we think like this because we haven't been in this position before to know how to deal with it..you can't control or make someone love you ..What you should acknowledge is how you were next to this person..if you think you were fine then, its their loss your gain..you dont want to be next to anyone who doesn't accept you the way you are..you can still love them but not a good idea to still hang on to them..you have your qualities, you have your flaws..give yourself praise for the love you gave ..be fortunate for having someone in your life and have shared good and bad moments and have experienced some level of love.. theres nothing to be sad about that..you were capable of doing this cause of the love you have in you for others..What you see is what you should get..true colors..be happy with yourself..keep loving yourself..his destiny is not yours..you are beautiful...Time will heal..and love will find its way to you..When you least expect it..

Sometimes the taking of medication may be counterproductive, if you can approach your loss in a constructive way it will be better to try and move on with the help of your Therapist.

From your contribution you sound quite young still and if you are studying medications can cause problems with learning and remembering, you may need to be able to also fight your corner and drugs can deaden your edge as you progress through the situation you find yourself in

Loosing that first love can knock you back in many ways, I would not suggest looking for someone new as you are still hurting. However what I would suggest is you look for hobbies and diversions to take your mind off this loss.

This hurt will eventually pass, my first love lasted for three or four years and it took several years before I began to look for someone I wished to start a relationship with, in all seriousness.

Whatever you decide be kind to yourself and move on slow. I was tentative and eventually moved on after various dates with other people, girls.

Good Luck

BOB

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