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What is a Breakup?
The conclusion of a serious, committed, and romantic relationship between dating partners is called a breakup. The term “breakup” is most frequently used to describe the end of a relationship between unmarried people, even though divorce, the legal separation of a married couple, is a sort of breakup.
There are many different types of breakups, including mutual breakups. A breakup of this sort may feel positive or negative, depending on how the parties involved feel about the relationship. For example, even though the relationship was difficult, one or both partners may regret the breakup but believe it was for the best.
Sometimes only one party wants to end the relationship, even though a couple may agree. When the other partner does not want the relationship to end, this can be stressful and hurtful. In other instances, there’s a slow decline in the relationship, or one partner cuts off communication with the other and vanishes to indicate the end. Because it leaves the other partner without closure and the relationship status unknown, this manner of ending a relationship can be especially challenging.1
Furthermore, around 60% of people have, at some point, gone through the complicated relationship arc that characterizes an on-again/off-again relationship.2 On-again, off-again relationships adopt a cyclical structure, with repeated dissolutions and renewals, instead of a clean split. Partners split up and then reconcile just to split up and reconcile once more, creating a roller coaster of intimacy, pain, passion, and loss.3
A break, on the other hand, is not a breakup. It’s an interval away from the other person, during which time you can reflect without needing to be in their presence. A break does not alter the relationship’s guiding principles: If the partnership had been monogamous or exclusive, it remains so during the break.4
Below are some common reasons for breakups:5
- Poor behavior
- Misdirected anger
- Being unsupportive
- Toxic people within the circle
- Avoiding showing love and attention
- Giving up
- Unequal growth
- Not communicating
Signs a Relationship May be Over or Nearing its End
- Constant Conflict
- You’ve ceased even bothering to fight
- You don’t think to tell your partner about good news
- When one of you wants to seek help, the other does not
- Even when they are not overly needy, your relationship drains you more and more
- The nature of the issue is impossible to agree upon
- You’re blaming more outside circumstances for your decision to stay in the relationship
- You’ve started to act politely to each other on the surface
- In comparison to whom your partner thinks you are, you feel like a completely different person
- You sense that trust has been lost
- You invent justifications for not spending time together
- You’re not laughing together as much as you used to
- You’ve started seriously doubting the future of your relationship
- You are no longer motivated to grow together
- You refuse to address the increasing resentment
- You stopped discussing issues both big and small since it’s simpler to keep your distance from one another
- You’re enjoying implementing revenge or hurting one another
- You have to continually apologize for who you are
- Your objectives are entirely at odds with one another, leaving no space for negotiation or compromise
- You’ve lost respect for each other’s values6
How Breakups Impact Mental Health
As you begin the healing process, it’s acceptable to grieve and feel sad over the loss of a significant relationship. Both healthy and bad breakup symptoms exist. The biological causes of grief after breakups, such as lowered dopamine and serotonin levels, may explain the sadness, as love helps ease anxiety and overcome stress. On the other hand, many mental health conditions can present themselves after a breakup, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
It’s important to remember that the below symptoms are not meant to be long-term. If you suffer more than half of the symptoms listed below for more than two weeks, you may be experiencing depression or related:7
- Sleeping either too little or too much
- A decline in interest in activities
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal ideation
- Increase in appetite and weight gain, or loss of appetite and decrease in weight
- Increase in movements like pacing or significantly slower speech
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
According to a study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, our brains’ chemistry influence how we react to breakups and why they are so difficult to get over. The study also discovered that after a breakup, feelings toward a former partner stimulate the same brain region as when a person experiences drug cravings. According to the study, your thoughts about someone else after being rejected romantically are a particular type of addiction. Spending time with someone you enjoy provides your brain with rewards.
People develop cravings and expectations for similar experiences after emotionally satisfying social interactions. When a significant source of joy is taken away from a person’s life, they frequently find it difficult to imagine how they will replace that person and those moments.8
Your brain may be telling you that social connections are significant after a breakup. That’s why, per a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, social connection is the most effective preventative factor for depression.9
Breakup Counseling & Therapy
If you think that a breakup is interfering with your daily routine, if you’re withdrawing from others and can’t stop romanticizing the prior relationship, you might consider break up counseling. According to a Social Psychological & Personality Science study, discussing a breakup and considering possible causes is usually beneficial.10 This is because it serves to regain one’s sense of self via reflection, making it easier to carry on.
Break up therapy is a short-term safe place to examine your emotional pain. A break up therapist can help you recognize unhealthy coping mechanisms and create healthy ones, such as self-reflection and relaxation methods. In addition, you can come to terms with the end of the relationship and handle any shame or self-blame you may feel with break up therapy.
A qualified therapist can serve as a sounding board to help you better identify your objectives and make sense of who you are and what you want from life. In addition to simply listening, a break up therapist can offer a neutral viewpoint that friends and family might not be able to. Finally, as you begin rebuilding, therapy for breakups can frequently aid in your developing higher self-esteem.11
The overall objective of therapy for breakups is to provide support with setting future goals, developing plans to reach those goals, understanding negative feelings, and changing negative ideas. While medications are typically not the first line of treatment after a breakup, you may be prescribed medication if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or a related mental health condition.
Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of therapy. Find out if your insurance provider can help with the costs by filling in our confidential insurance verification form below.
Breakup Therapy Costs & Insurance Coverage
In the United States, break up therapy typically costs between $100 and $200 per session.12 Certain factors can affect this cost, such as your location in Tennessee and your chosen break up therapist.
To gain insurance coverage for break up therapy, however, you may need to seek treatment for breakup-related issues like depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, like couples counseling, insurance providers rarely consider therapy after breakup as “medically necessary” unless a mental health diagnosis is involved.
Athena Care is in-network with most major insurance plans. Filling out our free and confidential online insurance verification form is the best, most efficient method to determine if your insurance covers break up therapy.
Our highly skilled care coordinators will handle the difficulties of contacting your insurance provider for more information about break up counseling in Tennessee. After you’ve completed the no-obligation form, a care coordinator will review your policy and thoroughly explain your options for break up therapy. You can be confident that any information provided and discussed will always be kept private.
Breakup Therapy Treatment Success & Outlook
A lot of people frequently believe that undergoing break up therapy treatment will immediately improve their condition. Although this is occasionally true, it usually takes longer to feel better, and it’s possible to feel worse before feeling better. Keep in mind that progress, not perfection, is always the aim. Look for small improvements over an extended period of time, even though therapy for breakups is generally considered short-term.
According to a consumer research poll, it takes an average of three and a half months to heal after a breakup.13
Break up therapy is an integral part of the healing process. This is particularly true when mental health issues like depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, or PTSD develop following the termination of a relationship.14
In addition, from ages 23–25, having a better understanding of the causes of a breakup was associated with lower self-reported internalizing symptoms, relative decreases in romantic conflict reported by partners, and comparable increases in self-reported relationship satisfaction and peer-rated intimate relationship competence.15
The prospects are good with treatment, but it’s critical to acknowledge persistent sadness and negative emotions. Additionally, everyone’s recovery process will differ. But if your relationship ends, you can move on with the aid of a solid support system and break up therapy.16
Tips for Coping With a Breakup
- Feel the Feelings: You will probably feel contradictory emotions; denying or repressing them will only make the grieving process more difficult. Instead, allow yourself to feel what you feel while remembering it will pass.
- Seek Support: Reach out to friends and connect with others so you’ll feel less alone. Make new friends and try new things. It’s important not to isolate yourself.
- Remember your Goals: While feeling and expressing your feelings is crucial, you don’t want to become buried in the gloom. It will be challenging to move forward if you spend an extended amount of time dwelling on the past and harboring resentment toward your ex-partner. The goal is always to move on.
- Remain Hopeful: Remember that you will have plenty of opportunities, some of which you might not even be able to anticipate at this time.
- Pay Attention to Your Overall Well-being: See if your response to the breakup is making it too challenging to handle tasks like work. This suggests that you might want to seek out further assistance.17
- Consider Break Up Counseling or a Support Group
- GoodTherapy Editor Team. “Breakup.” GoodTherapy, 9 Jan. 2019, www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/breakup.
- Dailey, René M., et al. “On-Again/Off-Again Dating Relationships: What Keeps Partners Coming Back?” Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 151, no. 4, Taylor and Francis, May 2011, pp. 417–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224545.2010.503249.
- DiDonato, Theresa E., Ph. D. “How Healthy Are On-Again/Off-Again Relationships?: Make-ups and Breakups Create a Roller Coaster Ride of Love, Pain, and Passion.” Psychology Today, 28 Feb. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201402/how-healthy-are-againoff-again-relationships.
- Brogaard, Berit, D. M. Sci. ,. Ph. D. “This Is the Difference Between a Breakup and a ’Break’ : What Do You Still Owe a Partner When You Take Some Time Apart?” Psychology Today, 17 Jan. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mysteries-love/201601/is-the-difference-between-breakup-and-break.
- [v] Goldsmith, Barton, Ph. D. “Top 10 Reasons for Relationship Break-Ups: If Any of These Bad Habits Show up in Your Love Life, It’s Time to Make a Change.” Psychology Today, 6 Aug. 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201808/top-10-reasons-relationship-break-ups.
- Bonior, Andrea, Ph. D. “20 Signs That a Relationship Is Over : Questioning Is Normal, but Here Are Some Important Considerations.” Psychology Today, 23 Dec. 2020, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/friendship-20/202012/20-signs-relationship-is-over.
- “Mental Illness and Breakups: The Relationship Between Depression, Love, and Dating.” GeneSight, 24 June 2022, genesight.com/blog/patient/depression-and-breakups-a-difficult-relationship.
- Fisher, Helen L., et al. “Reward, Addiction, and Emotion Regulation Systems Associated With Rejection in Love.” Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 104, no. 1, American Physiological Society, July 2010, pp. 51–60. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00784.2009.
- Choi, Karmel W., et al. “An Exposure-Wide and Mendelian Randomization Approach to Identifying Modifiable Factors for the Prevention of Depression.” American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 177, no. 10, American Psychiatric Association, Aug. 2020, pp. 944–54. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.19111158.
- Larson, Grace M., and David A. Sbarra. “Participating in Research on Romantic Breakups Promotes Emotional Recovery via Changes in Self-Concept Clarity.” Social Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 6, no. 4, SAGE Publishing, Jan. 2015, pp. 399–406. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550614563085.
- Leonard, Mika, and Lindsay Mack. “How Therapy Can Help After a Breakup.” My Wellbeing, 20 Sept. 2022, mywellbeing.com/therapy-101/breakup.
- Lauretta, Ashley. “How Much Does Therapy Cost?” Forbes Health, 27 June 2022, www.forbes.com/health/mind/how-much-does-therapy-cost.
- DigitalHubUSA, and DigitalHubUSA. “Study Reveals How Long It Takes to Get Over an Ex.” Digitalhub US, 6 Sept. 2021, swnsdigital.com/us/2017/02/study-reveals-how-long-it-takes-to-get-over-an-ex.
- Schofield, Margot J., et al. “Short and Long-term Effectiveness of Couple Counselling: A Study Protocol.” BMC Public Health, vol. 12, no. 1, BioMed Central, Sept. 2012, https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-735.
- Kansky, Jessica, and Joseph P Allen. “Making Sense and Moving On: The Potential for Individual and Interpersonal Growth Following Emerging Adult Breakups.” Emerging adulthood (Print) vol. 6,3 (2018): 172-190. doi:10.1177/2167696817711766
- Kerr, Michael. “Dealing With Depression After a Breakup.” Healthline, 29 Sept. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/depression/after-break-up.
- “Break Ups: How to Help Yourself Move On.” Psychological & Counseling Services, 15 Feb. 2023, www.unh.edu/pacs/break-ups-how-help-yourself-move.
If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.
One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control.