Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex neurological disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that depression is “characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities,” resulting in significant impairment in one’s daily life. According to the Mayo Clinic, teenage depression affects how an adolescent thinks, feels, and behaves, and can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. Teenage relationships are integral to one’s overall development, and a major developmental milestone. It has been noted that teen relationships are linked to the way adolescents explore independence, body image, privacy, and identity. Romantic teenage relationships usually involve exploring sexual feelings, physical intimacy, and sexual attraction, which can bring many emotional ups and downs. Breakups can profoundly influence young people in several ways. Data indicates that following the end of a relationship, teens report experiences such as distress, loneliness, and a loss of self-esteem. Research shows that even typical post-breakup emotional states closely resemble clinical depression. Nevertheless, experiencing depressive and other symptoms following the end of a relationship is sometimes diagnosed as an adjustment disorder with depressed mood, also referred to as situational depression. The end of a relationship can be particularly challenging and trigger a range of emotions. Consider the following tips to help you overcome depression and move forward after a breakup:
- Cultivate a strong social support network, both in person and online.
- Hone your problem-solving skills.
- Laugh: research shows that laughter can boost one’s immune system, ease pain, enhance relaxation, alleviate stress, and reduce depression.
- Try meditating: research has found that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more.
- Implement lifestyle changes: practicing healthy daily habits can enhance your mental health.
- Prioritize sleep hygiene: poor sleep habits can affect your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle), which can have a negative impact on your mood.
- Engage in physical activity and exercise regularly: exercising is one of the body’s natural ways of releasing endorphins, which help to reduce pain and increase pleasure, making you feel happier and enhancing your overall mood.
- Eat nutritiously: what you eat plays a large role not only in the physical health of your body but also in your mental health.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drugs.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water: experts recommend drinking a minimum of 64 oz of water, daily.
- Practice positive self-talk: positive self-talk encourages self-confidence, effective coping, achievement, and a general feeling of well-being. Select a few affirmations, or positive statements, that speak to you and repeat them regularly.
- Go at your own pace: allow yourself the time and space to authentically process your feelings. Instead of attempting to avoid or push away unwanted feelings, try acknowledging and naming your feelings to you can help diffuse, release, and move past them.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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