Dear Miss Meghan,
My girlfriend and I broke up a month ago and I am still depressed about it. I can’t stop thinking about her. What can I do?
Dear Oh So Lonely-
Break ups are not easy. I’ve been trying to write what I thought would be an easy response to a great question for two days now, and all I’ve decided is that break-ups really really suck. My original, impulse, advice was to tell you masturbate the pain away.
The support for that argument is that self-pleasure provides a dopamine (reward neurotransmitter) rush to the brain helping to combat the depressed feel. A little RedTube and masturbation doesn’t hurt anyone (unless your roomie gets out of class early). This suggestion got rather convoluted when I started writing about dopamine and conditioned responses (think Pavlov’s dogs), dopamine and addiction to love (we get a similar dopamine rush from heroine as we do from an orgasm), and dopamine and prolactin (the neurotransmitter that is the “stop” to dopamine’s “go”).
I then realized you are probably not looking for a bio lesson. Will understanding the hows and whys of needing to re-condition the post break-up brain really help? Somehow, I doubt it.
Feeling frustrated, I then turned to Al Gore’s beloved invention, the internet (oh, hello sarcasm, I didn’t see you there) and discovered that someone(s) actually took the time to create a WikiHow titled “How to Get over a Break-up” right along-side “how to remove an ingrown hair.” I suppose that this shouldn’t bother me, but it does.
There is no “how to” formula for moving forward. We can guess and create tips, but they don’t allow for each individual to decide for themselves what will (and won’t) work. Yes, Wiki, “staying active” is great advice.
Thank you oh so much for telling me that endorphins make people better. Maybe, Dear WikiHow, instead of a “deal with the hate” step, you have a “how to saran wrap your ex’s car” step. Now that is a great (but very short lived) way to make your self feel better.
My last attempt in creating a decent response was to further explore what “depressed” means, which I realized is more than difficult if Lonely Boy isn’t here to actually response to me (yes, I did just make a Gossip Girl reference, don’t hate).
We throw the words “depressed” and “depression” around a lot and it can be hard to tell the difference between a crappy day and a clinical issue. If you are worried about being depressed or if your mood has been affecting your daily functioning (sleeping, eating, school work, socially), National Depression Screening Day will be Friday, October 15th during lunch at the campus center. Stop by for 5 minutes and take a short questionnaire to see how depressed you really are (free play dough!). Or if you can’t stop by the counseling website has a link to an online screening tool for depression.
So apparently my advice from all this is: masturbate, spend some time on WikiHow and learn to do stuff, saran wrap a car, and get screened for depression. Ah, Good luck!
As sincerely as I was before,