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How to Get Over Depression After a Breakup

By HERWriter
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Just get over him! Get into the dating scene. Throw his gifts away. Get involved in a new activity.

We’ve all heard virtually the same advice, and some if it can be helpful, but breakups suck no matter what.

Breakups from any type of relationship can cause sadness, grief or depression whether a woman initiates the breakup or not.

Susan Heitler, a clinical psychologist in Denver, Colo., says that there is a difference between grief and depression after a breakup.

“Grieving is the sadness that comes with any loss, but depression adds a level of powerlessness and negative thoughts,” Heitler said.

She said that powerlessness comes from feeling “that a breakup has been done to us, not that it was a mutual decision.”

Although it depends on how long you’ve been with the person and how deep the feeling of loss is, grieving over a lost relationship usually should last only a little over a week, she said.

After a week, if the woman is still getting “lots of negative self-thoughts,” it might be depression.

“If someone feels like there’s a negative dark cloud hanging over them, then they’ve shifted from grieving into depression,” Heitler said.

When there’s depression involved, it’s best to see a therapist or psychologist, but there are some actions you can do to ease some pain.

Heitler suggests trying to communicate with an ex-partner.

“To be able to say your own thoughts, to share your view, is empowering, so then it doesn’t feel like there’s something done to you, but rather like you’ve had input also,” she said.

When an ex is unwilling to talk over the phone or in-person, an e-mail or letter can help.

Although throwing out gifts and memories of an ex can be cliché, it can also help in certain cases.

“It’s a way to say, ‘Okay, I’m ending that era of my life and readying myself to go onto something new,’” Heitler said. “It gives you a feeling of, ‘I’m taking charge now, I’m in the driver’s seat.’ It’s not essential but it can be helpful.”

However, many people have the opposite reaction and want to keep everything and put it in a safe place.

Add a Comment31 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

A week!!!! Ridiculous. Whoever wrote that is missing a few reality screws.

November 2, 2015 - 10:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

even my gal friend left me today it self for somebody else,,, so be cool dont think much abt them who move from ur life ,,, mine is 9years love

March 27, 2015 - 4:10am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

superb bro!! actually this whole blog couldn't give me as much courage as your one line have given........... thnx bro... i was in a relationship for last 4 year and she left me without giving any reason so i was in depression, but your comment just evinced a smile on my face..... thnx bro!!

February 24, 2016 - 10:54am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

So sorry to hear about it. Hope you moved on well.

June 25, 2015 - 3:35am
EmpowHER Guest

I stopped reading after it said it should only take a week to get over a break up. Unless you had like two dates, it will take a lot longer than a week to "get over" the relationship. Who wrote this??!

February 23, 2015 - 12:52pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Yes, I stopped too. That only tells me this person has ZERO experience or is an unapologetic narcissist. Ridiculous.

September 4, 2015 - 8:27pm
EmpowHER Guest

A week to "get over" a breakup? You have no idea what you are talking about.

February 6, 2015 - 10:27pm
EmpowHER Guest

hi... I lost my boyfriend 1 & half months ago.My family & his family had fight and they ask him to chose between me & his family.He choosed his family.A 7 yrs relationship just ended.He cried on phone in the starting of our breakup.After 15 days he found a new love a started talking to her till 2 in the night.If i am on call waiting he didnt receive my call.He changed his number.Now i am in mental depression.I cant sleep at night properly, just 2 hours max and in that time too i get bad dreams about him.I am not feeling to eat or do any activity.Let my left job too.I tried to commit suicide and was unsuccessful in that.All i can think is i dont want to live.Just want to end my life.Its very frustrating that now he dont care about me and not even he call me.Yes i want him back in my life because i cant live without him but dont know how.. My blood pressure is always low now a days and head pains.I am also suffering from cramps in all parts of my body.As i think that he is happy with that married woman,talking to her all this BP,head pains and cramps starts.I dont know y he did this to me?I was with him for 7 years in his bad time and he just left me blaming everything on me and my family.I didnt know that he had this status money thing in his head like his family.

October 9, 2013 - 9:20pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post. 

It's very disturbing that you are upset enough attempt suicide.  That will do you no good other than to deny yourself the chance of a wonderful life. When we love someone and they leave us -it can seem like our lives are over.  But believe me, our lives are not over at all.  If you ever feel suicidal again, please call a hotline like 1800-273-8255 or reach out to a friend. 

He may have left you because his family was putting pressure on him or simply that he fell out of love with you.  You really need to let him go - clinging on will do you more harm than good. 

I think you talk to someone as soon as possible about getting therapy and having a physical checkup - this is very important. Can you do this, Anon??

We hope to hear back from you very soon,


January 26, 2015 - 3:56pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

Please talk to a health care professional - I would think that you are entering a deep depression after your breakup. I know that you are focused on getting your boyfriend back but you have to talk to someone about your feelings - he made his choice and now has another woman. I suspect a lot was going on behind your back without you knowing it and that this woman was likely in his life already.

I think what he has done to you is absolutely terrible but you have to get well. You need to see someone; you have no job, you are mentally and physically unwell and this is very unfair to you.

Do you have someone to talk to?


October 10, 2013 - 11:44am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.