Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

How long does it take to get over emotional trauma? Longer than you think

You've recently gotten out of a relationship, or maybe you lost a job. How long is acceptable to spend getting over it?

The answer might surprise you.

A Wall Street Journal article addresses the issue, and cites experts as saying two years isn't too long to expect the process to take.

Story continues below advertisement

Initial reaction: Really? That long? Whatever happened to throwing yourself into new activities, meeting new people, moving forward?

Apparently those can be harmful.Columnist Elizabeth Bernstein argues that it's better to give yourself an allotted amount of grieving time so that you process your emotions and think rationally. She cites experts saying it's normal to feel depressed and distracted during this time. They say rushing through the recovery will just delay the inevitable, because at some point, everyone needs to grieve.

"To help yourself get through the process, accept that there is nothing wrong with you, even if your emotions feel overwhelming. Remind yourself that this period will end. Tell your friends and family that while you may not be your typical self for a while, you still need their support and you will recover," Bernstein writes.

She also recommends not jumping ship and moving to a new city (which would be my preferred method of coping).

Staying where you are and dealing with your problems should lead to a happier, healthier you – and make sure you don't start a new relationship or job with those bitter feelings still lingering.

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨