Breakups Can Cause Situational Depression

Dr T J Jordan
3 min readDec 5, 2022

The stress of even a temporary breakup can trigger a particular kind of painful depression.

Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash

By Dr T J Jordan

We are familiar with clinical depression – a mood disorder that dwells somehow relentlessly within our psychological interior. In contrast, situational depression is always a reaction to a specific event. It is triggered by something outside ourselves.

Even if we have no history of clinical depression, we still might react to a breakup with situational depression. Situational depression is also called an adjustment disorder because it results from a trigger that represents a major life change.

The loss of a significant relationship is a known cause of situational depression even when a separation gets followed by reconciliation. When we experience something that impacts our interpersonal connections, we often find ourselves responding to the trauma by grieving.

We might feel sadness and tearfulness, and we might experience disruptions in sleeping and eating patterns. We might experience fatigue and loss of energy. We might lose interest in pleasurable activities.

And when our situational depression has been triggered by a breakup, we might be more inclined to seek detachment and isolation from others as we negotiate the healing process. We might find ourselves withdrawing temporarily from life.


Often we are confronted by multiple problems at the same time. When a significant relationship goes into hiatus or stops completely, we usually are forced to adjust to multiple changes.

Relationship breakups don't happen in a vacuum. They impact our social activities, our sexuality, our finances, and even our living arrangements. We might find that losing our beloved might also mean…



Dr T J Jordan

Passionate about sexualities, masculinities, relationships, intimacy, mental health, CPTSD , animals, growth, psychology, and exotic locations.