How Do I Move Beyond a Bad Breakup? I Feel Stuck And Extremely Depressed.

Carol Landau, Ph.D., healthy living expert at iVillage.com, answers your questions about managing your 20s and 30s without getting depressed

Take a look at the Breaking Up Is Hard to Do message board (You are so not alone!), Emotional Rescue and 11 Ways to Beat the Breakup Blues for more advice about avoiding depression after a breakup.

In the meantime, observe the “no-contact” rule, especially if he’s seeing someone else. It’s hard, but it will help you move forward. You also need to be with people who care about you and appreciate your strengths, not those who bring out your weaknesses. Also try to distract yourself. Listen to music, open a good book or take a dancing class. I am a big believer in education. Signing up for a class shifts your brain from emotion to learning mode.

If your ability to maintain a relationship is how you define your success (as it is for many women), or if you had critical parents, you are more vulnerable to depression after a breakup. It may be helpful to speak with a therapist to identify and change your patterns. With some help from close friends, family, a professional and your talents, you can plan a better future.

A breakup can add to the stress many women already feel in the decade after college. If moving to a new place, finding a job and meeting new people is overwhelming, a bad split can push you into depression. To avoid the pitfalls of these years, read this survival guide. To ask questions or get and lend support, visit our Depression Support message board.

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