There are a few things that you can do to help take care of yourself when dealing with a broken heart. It is important to remember to eat and drink enough water throughout the day to not become weak or ill from not eating. Remember to talk with others about what happened if possible, because hearing another voice may ease some stress and also allow for new perspectives on life after love is lost.

In some cases, self-care is not enough to heal a broken heart. In these instances, speaking with a mental health professional may be the best option.

What is a broken heart?

A broken heart occurs when a person experiences loss. often used to describe the way someone feels after their romantic relationship ends. But it can refer to other types of loss as well.

A broken heart may also be caused by many other factors:

  • The death of a family member
  • Child loss or infertility
  • The loss of a job or opportunity
  • A friendship ending
  • Loss of a pet
  • Any other loss that affects a person’s emotional well-being

Experiencing loss and death can be very stressful and challenging to deal with, especially if the events happen unexpectedly.

When someone goes through a breakup or loss of a loved one, they may be tempted to abandon their usual routines and habits. It is important to prioritize self-care; this could include taking certain steps like changing up your diet or sleeping patterns.

  • Reducing and avoiding stress
  • An increased amount of physical activity each day
  • Promoting relaxation using breathing techniques
  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine

How can the loss of a relationship affect mental health?

When a breakup or death occurs, it is likely to have quite an impact on the individual. The person experiencing this loss may experience strong emotions such as anger and sadness immediately after their trauma.

A person with trauma experiences symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Continuously thinking about what happened
  • Feelings of anxiety, anger or sadness

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Fatigue and restlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Persistent feelings of sadness and emptiness

Other psychiatric conditions include:

  • Alcohol dependency
  • Social phobia
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Other complications from a broken heart

Broken heart syndrome:

Broken heart syndrome can occur after a traumatic loss. This happens when experiencing an adrenaline surge caused by the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine following a stressful event like sudden bereavement or physical trauma. The effects usually disappear within 1-2 weeks, though it may be longer depending on how severe your condition was before you seek treatment for broken heart syndrome.

Some triggers of a broken heart syndrome include:

  • Extreme anger
  • Grief
  • Fear
  • Stroke or seizure
  • Significant blood loss

Symptoms may be similar to those of a heart attack a person may experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the chest area
  • Dizziness

Emotions can be intense and challenging to deal with at the moment. However, generally, most people feel better after time passes. In some cases, it may become more acute and make a person feel worse than before symptoms occurred.

When these feelings occur, it is important to speak with a doctor or mental health professional. If they do not get the help that they need for their emotions at this time, depression and generalized anxiety disorder can develop into full-fledged psychiatric conditions.

Seeking help

If you are feeling negative emotions, consider talking to a mental health professional. This can be your doctor or another specialist trained in emotional support.