There’s a reason why “heartbreak” is synonymous with “breakup.” Breakups are painful. It can feel like the pain resides in our heads, our hearts and in our bones. Sometimes it’s a faint ache, like a sore muscle. Other times, it’s a full-on throbbing, a raw wound.
Post-breakup, people often “feel sad, lost, empty, alone, and angry,” said Meredith Hansen, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert. They might withdraw from friends and family and have a hard time doing their work, and their self-esteem might suffer, she said. According to Hansen, they might also show other signs of depression, such as loss of interest in activities, loss of appetite, development of sleeping problems or feelings of hopelessness.
People suffering from heartbreak might turn to self-destructive behaviors with grave effects. “Substance abuse, multiple sexual partners, and avoidance of vulnerable emotions can lead to serious health issues, long-term health problems, and potential mental health issues,” Hansen said.
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