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November 21, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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Bottling Things Up


I am about to be 19 years old. My ex-boyfriend (as of yesterday) is 17. Now, I do not think the problem is a difference in age; I think its maturity issues. We broke up last night and I am doing everything possible not to think about it. I don't want to talk about. I don't want to tell people about it. I don't want to talk to him. I just want to move on and forget it. My question is: Is this normal? Is it possible for me to have a mental breakdown because I am "bottling" things up?

Amanda_luz, 18-year-old woman


Dear Amanda,

Yes, it's normal. It is one of the perfectly OK ways to react. There is no set way you should act. Whatever comes naturally is fine.

When you break up with somebody, you will experience grief. This will happen even if you were unhappy in the relationship, even if you made the break happen. You used to have something, however faulty it may have been, and now it's gone. There is a person you once cared for, and probably still do in some ways, and you've hurt that person. Grief has definite stages, and you tend to behave differently when in each stage. "I just want to move on and forget it" is typical of one such stage. You will want to act and think differently as you move through the grieving process.

So, you are not bottling things up, and you are unlikely to have a mental breakdown.

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 31 years experience as a psychologist and is registered with the Australian Psychological Society. He practices in Australia. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counsellor.

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