Potential causes of developing PTSD – 4: Breakups

Potential causes of developing PTSD – 4: Breakups

It is not easy to handle a failed relationship. A person about to separate from his or her loved one finds it difficult to channelize the anger toward the breakup in a healthy way. Breakups can have a profound impact on the brain functioning. A study done by researchers from the Columbia University demonstrated that the brain tends to give signals that causes one to think about the separated partner repeatedly, a phenomenon that is quite similar to the brain’s mechanism to deal with physical pain.

It is often seen that the affected individual finds it difficult to let go in spite of getting emotional support from family and friends. The feeling of being unwanted, compounded with the inability to come out of a failed relationship, causes tremendous psychological stress, which results in sleeplessness, inactivity and other physiological ailments.

How to combat the trauma of a breakup

The body incorporates various mechanisms to cope with the drastic effects of a traumatic event. At times, the body return to normal on its own, after going through a trauma, but in many instances, the past painful experiences linger on for a prolonged period, making a person feels vulnerable. Similarly, a person recuperating from a recent breakup is afraid of pursuing a new relationship, and therefore, self-isolation becomes a key component of his or her survival, often, giving rise to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Self-isolation post a romantic breakup can only make things worse. The first step toward healing is to accept the reality. While this is not an easy thing to do, and can probably take months to realize the fact, it is essential to get out of the state of hyper arousal and fear.

Avoidance of obsessive thoughts and cravings regarding ex-partner is the best way to deal with the crisis. It has been observed that some people have obsessive tendencies, due to which they stalk their ex on the social media, which can result in PTSD. Therefore, avoidance of all potential triggers is necessary to lead a normal life.

Exercise is one of the most prudent ways to combat the stress and anxiety associated with PTSD. It not only releases the hormones essential for emotional well-being of a person, but also awakens the central nervous system from the state of inactivity.

Listed below are a few measures to get relief from the trauma associated with a breakup:

  • Engaging in outdoor activities: Involving in outdoor activities like rock climbing or martial arts is a significant distraction from a recent breakup.
  • Incorporating mindfulness techniques in daily life: By living in the present moment and practicing breathing techniques and meditation, one can achieve a sense of calm and purpose.
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol: Using alcohol and drugs as self-medication can worsen the PTSD. Such dangerous substances can even hamper the treatment process.
  • Sleeping well and eating healthy diet: Eating and sleeping not only prevent the irritability and moodiness associated with PTSD but also provide the much-needed energy to carry out daily activities.
  • Seeking professional help: In many instances where the PTSD cannot be managed on one’s own, it is essential to seek professional help. With the help of a doctor, it is possible to regain control of one’s life.

Recovery road map

A breakup can be a traumatizing event that could seriously impinge on the quality of life. The disconnect and vulnerability that one feels post a break up could be tackled by setting realistic life goals.  While a support group is helpful, it is essential to seek professional counseling and guidance in case the trauma shows no sign of improvement.

If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD or any other anxiety disorder, contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to get information on the best anxiety treatment centers in California that offer a holistic approach to treatment. Call our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online to know more about evidence-based anxiety disorders treatment in California.

Read the other articles of the series “Potential causes of developing PTSD:”

  1. War
  2. Sexual assault
  3.  Natural calamities
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