Symptoms of Grief After Your Breakup

by Sarah Creagh Horth on September 8, 2009

I found this list of symptoms of grief on website.  It includes the psychological stages of grief, you might face after your breakup.  Interestingly it also includes physical symptoms such as:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • lowered immunity
  • weight loss or weight gain
  • aches and pains
  • insomnia.

What about you?  What kind of symptoms have you faced after your breakup?

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel September 24, 2009 at 9:24 am

I have trouble concentrating – at work and at home. It’s like my mind is full of cotton balls! I wander into a room and wonder why I am there. It’s driving me nutso!

Nigella May 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I’ve just been unceremoniously dumped by my lover of two years. Just ten days ago we walked hand-in-hand for four hours. He held my hand, and kissed me at every gate and stile. Less recently, but still within the past three months, he presented me with a book of poems he had written for me over the two years we’ve been together. It was inscribed with the most romantic of introductions… dedicated to me… a celebration of our love. We have never had a row. We’ve never had a fight. It’s been the most perfect of relationships. And now he’s walked away. Telling me face-to-face just this week that he doesn’t love me at all. It’s inexplicable. Unless he’s met someone else. Unless he’s a sociopath. An habitual liar.

It was the symptoms of grief over a break-up which brought me to this page. I’ve been feeling sick all week. And exhausted. My self-esteem has taken an immense battering. I’ve cancelled dates with girlfriends, and even my mother. I can’t bring myself to tell anyone about this. I feel bereft… and then I feel ridiculous for comparing this to real grief. .. yet it feels just like that.. the deepest and most painful of grief. I’ve bombarded him with texts and emails demanding further explanation. He has replied just once saying ‘I’m sorry. Truly I am’. I am beginning to feel crazed enough to go and sit on his doorstep, but although I suspect my self-esteem is at rock bottom, I’m pretty sure the only result of that would be to destroy it still further.
There can be no doubt that all men are total bastards. It’s a crazy cliche, but I don’t think I’ll ever be dissuaded of that now.

kerry December 9, 2010 at 1:50 am

Thats so sad. I am so sorry this has happened to you. I hope you are able to reach out to your family and friends asap. You need support and you are not crazy in regards to the door step thing. Break down if you have to you have to grieve.

jessica April 3, 2011 at 4:44 am

I’ve just found out that my boyfriend of two years has cheated on me. I feel horrible I’m confused, angry, sad. I’m losing weight, and tears roll down my face every time I think about it. I wonder what was wrong with me that made him do that. It’s so hard to focus on anything when thats all I think about. Something I’ll never forget.

Sarah April 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Are you ok Jessica? I know when it happened to me it has to have been one of the biggest shocks of my life. Email me directly if you want to talk – ((hugs))

rhianne May 24, 2011 at 7:54 am

yesterday my bf of 7 months texted me saying he didnt like me anymore and cut me off his life straight away. he deleted me from facebook, bbm and blocked my num. he didnt explain to me why. i didnt see it coming as we were still talking the night before.
i feel so hurt and betrayed after what i did for him. i helped him when he’s at his lowest and needed someone to hold his hand, i was there for him 24/7. i dont think i deserved this.
now, i cant sleep or eat. i feel sick to my stomach each time i think about all those times we spent together.

ram June 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

i juz dumped b4 6 month wen she said i dnw wana live with u n dont luv me anymore. I bombared wid emails,text,msges,call and try 2 say please say wats wrong wid me, i m sorry,n sory n sory. But she dont undrstood me. She was realy cruel i didnt knw before i luved. N i knw now she was juz a fkd slt. . .my big mistake was that i did. . . After break up my didnt slept,continues thinkin of mind,loss of apetite, n it sucked my body and mind. Still it i m not as like i was before love.

Sarah June 29, 2011 at 12:55 am

It is hard to get through those first weeks – I hope you are doing better now. I’d appreciate it though if you didn’t women ‘sluts’ on this site. Thanks

John July 29, 2011 at 12:35 am

My relationship ended recently and it wasnt over cheating/lies/or anything like that. My now ex ended it. We argued lately over things like me getting a newer apt, spending more time, that my job took time away,etc.. My job didnt at all. He got off work at 5pm M to F and sometimes I went in on a weekend. Our problems werent like big time. Anyways, this whole “I never know what it was like to be single” etc stuff started lately. Then he ended us. We have known each other since 2006. I loved him deeply….DEEPLY. I would be the one who helped him with anything…money and all. I loved him and still do deeply. I just wonder if the one who does the breaking up feels any pain like the one who is dumped?

Melissa August 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

John – I am going through the same exact thing. I was in a relationship that had true love, amazing chemistry, passion, and we were very faithful. We also argued a lot lately, my job took a lot of attn away from her, & I started becoming very insecure. And she is younger and never had freedom b/c of her upbringing. So I know all of this played a role in this. I believe it is a mistake but is out of my hands at this point. It has been 1 week since she left and I just don’t know how to accept this even though I have to. I would love to chat with you about this. Seems to ease a lot of my pain when I talk with ppl who can sympathize.
On a side note about our symptoms…I’ve lost at least ten 10lbs and cannot eat. I wake up everyday gagging and my stomach doesn’t get normal until it is almost time for me to leave work. I seem to be OK once I leave work but can’t stand being here b/c I cannot concentrate on work like I need to. I also can’t sleep past 4 am no matter what time I go to bed. And since my stomach is so torn up I haven’t had coffee in a week so I am literally a walking zombie. I know I am not alone in all of this that is how I found this website.

Sarah August 17, 2011 at 9:28 pm

John, I hope you are doing OK – in answer to your question about the dumper’s feelings, I did look into it and found some research had been done: both partners go through a similar pattern of mourning the lost relationship. It seems harder for you right now, because you have had less time to adjust. He has had a chance to process some of the grief already while he was making the decision to breakup. When he told you about breaking up, you are only just beginning the mourning process.

And there are other things you are handling as well – it is out of your control which is hard, you didn’t make the decision.

This doesn’t take away any of the pain, I hope you are surviving OK. Hugs from me.

Sarah August 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Hi Melissa, Thanks for letting me know that I wasn’t being notified about the comments. Sounds like you are having a rough time. Waking at 4am is a sign of depression – and anxiety I am sure. I did the same thing going through my divorce – I was the one doing the breaking so my insomnia happened at the fighting stage. Stopping eating as well is also a sign of depression, please look after yourself and if it continues for more than a month, go and see your Doctor about it. There are things you can do yourself to combat depression:
*stay in touch with supportive friends, enlist their help to get through this. Ask for help.
*stay away from drugs and alcohol,
*postpone major life changes – you might get into a frenzy to stay busy, anything to stop thinking. But make sure you’re not deciding to do any long-term changes like changing jobs or homes right now.
*still do activities you enjoy – you might not actually enjoy them right now, but still go through the motions. The positive emotions will return.
*relax – physical activity: go for a walk, swim or cycle. Try yoga or other breathing exercises.
*write a diary – get all those emotions out and onto a page – very helpful for getting through tough times

That first week is the hardest of all – and I know it is a cliche, but you will get through it. I do recommend my book as there is a lot on grief and how to get through the weeks ahead.

Dana August 22, 2011 at 2:24 am

Me and my boyfriend were going on our 3 months I know its only been three months but we were friends for like 7 yrs before we decided to take the chance and take it to the next step which we did and now here I am almost 3 months getting dumped by a text.. Not only am i losing him as a boyfriend but as a friend as well.. I knew that was the chance that could happen but the thing is I dont even know what I did… All I did today was layied in my bed in a ball and cryied all day and I had to get up cuz my son wanted to play my dad was watching my son while I was doing my thing… I know Its not even been a day yet but muy heart hurts so much my head hurts im emotionally tired I dont wanna eat but once I got outta my bed my stomach started hurting like I want to get sick… and I did the worst thing I emailed him telling him how much I missed him and that and your not suppose to do that… I want him back so bad it hurts and I say and Im going to fight for him as far as I can go I just want this me walking like a zombie and have this blank look on my face to go away.. if anyone can help me out on how to deal with this

Dana August 22, 2011 at 2:31 am

Me and my boyfriend were going on our 3 months I know its only been three months but we were friends for like 7 yrs before we decided to take the chance and take it to the next step which we did and now here I am almost 3 months getting dumped by a text.. Not only am i losing him as a boyfriend but as a friend as well.. I knew that was the chance that could happen but the thing is I dont even know what I did… All I did today was layied in my bed in a ball and cryied all day and I had to get up cuz my son wanted to play my dad was watching my son while I was doing my thing… I know Its not even been a day yet but muy heart hurts so much my head hurts im emotionally tired I dont wanna eat but once I got outta my bed my stomach started hurting like I want to get sick… and I did the worst thing I emailed him telling him how much I missed him and that and your not suppose to do that… I want him back so bad it hurts

Tara August 24, 2011 at 7:17 am

My boyfriend was also my best friend for over 3 years, and recently he stopped being both. We’ve been on and off during this time frame,but we were always there for each other. I love him with everything in me and I don’t want this to be the end. I’m trying to move on and act like I don’t care, but it really hurts. I feel like there’s a constant pressure on my chest, my heart beats at a rapid pace when I think about him, it’s hard to eat, and I can’t sleep. Those are just some of the physical factors. Does anyone know how to make the physical side effects of losing someone go away?

Mary September 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

My boyfriend currently refuses to take my calls and ans my text messages. Hes currently living away from home and I usually see him on the weekends. We are nearly going out 6yrs. I’m really good to his family, helping around the house and calling out when he is not there. I help him out week to week with money and have spent a lot on him. Last friday on the phone he told me shut the f up cause I was late and I hung up. Since then I have texted him and he hasn’t bothered to amswer. I texted him again to ask if he got my first one and he said yes and I sent him another one sayinf” so you just chose to ignore me” and his reply was yeah! I’m sick in work, can’t talk to my friends or family and most of all numb. Its horrible! I eat to make the pain in my tomach go away! I can’t understand why he is being so cruel!

Sarah October 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm

John, I broke up with my boyfriend two weeks ago after a relationship that lasted one year . We loved each other so much but we were not getting along very well. We were arguing all the time and it made us unhappy. We kept trying to make things work but it didn’t happen. So I made the decision to end it. He didn’t want to give up on us and that kept the relationship going for few more weeks till I was not able to do it anymore. I was relieved right after the break-up since I thought that it was the best thing to do for both of us. But a couple of days later it hit me. I’ve been sleeping at 4 to 6 am every night and my sleep is very disturbed. I wake up nauseous every day and I cant eat much. I lost 5 kilos in the past two weeks. I am a student and I’ve stopped going to morning classes. I’ve been spending the weekends in bed because I am too tired to move. Even the sun hurts my eyes, so I close my curtains and bury myself under the bed covers the whole day. This has been my worst break up in years even if I was the one who made the decision to end the relationship. I believe it’s not about who does the break-up but about how much you care about the other person.

Yas November 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Hi Sarah,
I desperately need advice. I have walked out of our relationship of 4 years. I’m married and she is going through a divorce. It all started 4 years ago when I accidentally bumped into her in a supermarket. She was my first love, we both lived each other so much that we both lost our virginity to each other 20 years ago. We broke up after about a year then because my parents did not approve of her as she was a different colour and culture.

From the moment we saw each other it was love at first sight, the only problem was that I was leading a double life and was constantly juggling between my family and my lover. We had visions together and spent the most beautiful 4 years of my life ever with her. She was my world and treated me respect making me want to share the rest of my life with her.

During all this, my wife has found out and threatened me with taking my children away from me. As a matter of course I have decided to make a go of our marriage for the sake of my kids. This led to me splitting up with my lover, we both live each other but I can not believe I have taken them steps. It is making me feel that I didn’t love her enough to show that commitment, but in reality it was for the sake if my children that I walked away. It has only been 4 weeks now but she has moved on and found someone else. I an finding it extremely difficult to cope, knowing that I’m being held to ransom because of my children. I am not sleeping, always feel down, feel miles away and even thought that my life is not worth living.

I want turn to and talk to someone but I can only see her that I can confine to, but what I cant accept is that she is gone. She was the one that just by talking to her for a few minutes made my day and gave me a burst of energy to last me a whole day. I really do miss her, but at the same time I can never bear the thought of being without my children.

She has said to me that she wants me to come looking for her when my kids have grown up, but I begin to wander if I’ll be leading my life with false hope. Please help

Magarita February 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm

i was 10 days away from my 2nd year anniversity. i was upset over some of the stuff that my boyfriend does that make me upset or angry. I finally told him how i felt about the stuff that made me upset and angry in between classes. when i saw him again at lunch he asked “you know i love you, right”, i nod my head, and then he said “i want to break up”. it was because i was jealous of his friends that are the opposite sex, the fact that i’m summisive, and that i couldn’t trust him. the reason i can’t trust anyone because of the pass with my father, when he walked away from mom, my sister with a girl he cheated with. since today, when i eat i feel very nausious (pardon my misspelling) and i rather go to bed as soon as i get home from school.

Rohit kumar March 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

hi this is Rohit.I was having a good relationship with my girl friend but almost two months back we both of us quarreled with each other on a small matter.from that day only she is neither messaging and calling me.she told me that i m not going to be with u any more.from that day i m quite sad and has lost my concentration in studies as well as other works.i use to cry her almost everyday and has spent lots of sleepless nights.

Sigrun Grosman February 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Trying to recover from a break up, even if I did the breaking (no other choice) I am having difficulties concentrating (I am in school) difficulties falling asleep. I feel like I have been kicked in the chest and it feels difficult to breathe, worst of all my stomach is constantly queasy and I don’t have appetite. Even if I have had break ups in the past I have never had such strong physical symptoms, my question is how long can I expect this to go on? Is there anything I can do to speed up the process? Today is day 3 and it feels pretty much like day one…..Why does sadness come with such a heavy chest, is there any logical reason for it? May 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

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Ruth February 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm

My bf of over 3 years broke up with me. He told me that he cannot get over what I did six months into our relationship. We talked it out and I believed we were all good but he keeps brining it up and other things. Of note, we are both married, I have been separated for over 3 years and he is still living at home. I don’t claim to be the best person, but it takes a long time for me to trust someone. He knew everything I went through and I thought stayed by me and thought worked with me. I guess not. He lied. I am so sad that I can’t believe anything he said for the last 2 1/2 years. He said he meant everything he said, but how could he!
My whole body feels sick. I am nauseated and it feels like all of my nerves are on fire. This feeling is horrible. I feel like I am no some kind of amphetamine. I don’t take drugs. I want to cry all the time. We both say that we want to stay friends but I don’t know if I can. I still love him so much. I hurt so much.

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