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A broken heart: When it’s time to reach out for help

I walked in the front door after being gone from a long business trip, only to find the house a mess. My first instinct was that we had been robbed! I quickly assessed the house to see if any of our valuable things were missing, only to slowly realize it wasn’t my valuable things that were missing, it was just his. As I made my way to the kitchen, I saw a letter. I knew instantly what it was, it started with “Dear Caroline …” Immediately my heart began to pound, my knees felt as if they were about to give out and as I read my heart broke into a thousand pieces and I was pretty sure it was going to be broken forever.

Sad woman leaning against window

If you read that paragraph and thought, man, I can relate, then you have probably experienced a break-up. At some point in our lives we all experience a break-up of sorts; but how to do you know if you are handling it reasonably well — or that it’s time to reach out for help?

3 Signs you need help getting over a broken heart


You “just want to be friends”

You make every attempt to find some excuse to call, write, email or text your ex. You tell your family and friends that you “just want to be friends with your ex,” so by staying available or attempting communication it makes that friendship possible.

Broken-heart solution: Stop all contact with your ex! Every time you make contact with your ex it opens new wounds. If you do end up being friends, great. But you need time to reassess your life, wants, needs and desires. The more you stay in contact, the harder it is to move on. If you can’t do this on your own, then talk to a professional.


You are depressed

You have been crying for weeks (more than two and it’s not getting better). You have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Your friends call and you’re just not interested in going out or doing the things you usually do. You might have missed work for a week or more related to getting over your break-up, or you’ve been isolating yourself from friends and family.

Broken-heart solution: Please make an appointment with a mental health expert. A professional can assess whether talk therapy is the right course of treatment or if your symptoms are severe enough to consider the help of medication.


You can’t let go

You can’t stop talking about your past relationship and why it ended. You get to the point where your friends say they don’t want to hear it anymore.

Broken-heart solution: It’s not healthy to process all of these emotions on your own. It’s time to see a professional. This doesn’t mean you will be in counseling forever. Sometimes even a couple of visits are all some people need to get on the path to healing their broken heart.

If you’re feeling down or hopeless and can’t stop thinking or talking about your ex and what went wrong, reach out. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

More women’s health tips

Women’s intuition may save your life
5 Easy ways to feel happier every day
Understanding and preventing suicide

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