Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How should I deal with depression after a breakup?"
I couldn't move after my breakup. I slept for days. I never left my bed. Should I see a therapist?
A breakup can be a traumatic event sometimes as severe as losing a loved one to an illness. As with all traumatic events, people in general go through a grieving period where sadness, alterations in sleep, and alterations in appetite can occur. This is considered to be normal and should not be interrupted by sedating medications, and usually does not require therapy. These severe symptoms should begin subsiding 1 month after the event. Between 1 and 6 months you may experience intermittent sadness about the event, but you should be back to your usually functioning self. If you are still very depressed 2 or 3 months after the event, then this is considered abnormal. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with you primary care physician. He or she can screen you for depression and determine if you are still undergoing the normal grieving process or if you have developed clinical depression from this event. If you are depressed, then you may benefit from seeing a therapist. Your doctor may be able to recommend one in your area. You may also benefit from trying an antidepressant medication. This is something that your doctor can prescribe prior to you seeing a therapist. I hope you feel better.
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