Author: Anugrah Edmond (Clinical Psychologist)
Amongst the top reasons that young adults come to me for psychotherapy, in recent times, is the ending of a relationship, or breakup. This seems to be a concern that is becoming more and more common, seemingly turning into an epidemic. And if we do not equip our young population to deal with this we will see a further increase in instances of depression.
As we are becoming more liberated as a society in matters of romance and partner selection, the experience of heartbreak is increasing in proportion. This is not to say that this is a negative development. People learn from trial and error. Unless you will not taste a few flavors of the Baskin Robbins ice cream you would not know which your favorite one is. It’s the same with partner selection. Each failed relationship makes one clearer about the characteristics of their compatible partner. In the days of old, people partnered up and accommodated their personalities according to their partners. Now we build our personalities first and then find a compatible partner. Which is better? I leave it to your opinion.
There are a lot of other concerns that we face but the emotional impact of this particular trauma becomes so overwhelming that we are led to visit the counsellor’s office. Some have even come in with suicidal ideations since the feelings are so painfully unbearable. What makes this pain so unbearable is that they are not able to discuss this with their families, and their friends with the best of their intentions merely tell them to ‘forget about it’, ‘get over it’ etc. All very accurate suggestions, but unfortunately don’t work. Those feelings need to be properly expressed and processed. Suppressing them will cause long-term damage, like building trust issues or fear of becoming vulnerable to anyone ever again. In simple words the person might find it difficult to connect with anyone again in the future.