Most first love experiences happen during adolescence. The experience is truly life-changing; coupled with one’s own quest for individuality and identity, first loves often leave a remarkable impression on a teenager. Unfortunately, many first love experiences do not last long. Couples separate and the teenager is left feeling vulnerable. Several psychological techniques can be followed.
Expression: Strong emotions need to be expressed in a healthy manner. Love is a powerful emotion. Medical studies have proven that there are physiological effects of love. This means, loving someone causes significant changes to one’s brain. For those experiencing love for the first time, “letting go” is difficult because physically speaking, one is changed. Many child and adolescent psychiatrists recommend reprogramming one’s brain and body by finding means of expression. This can be in the form of writing, speaking, painting, or any form of manner in which to express all the emotions being felt.
Practice gratitude: This is challenging at the beginning. Recent psychological studies suggest the use of positive affirmations as an effective means of moving on from a breakup. This includes continuously practicing gratitude and self-affirmations. It is easy for teenagers to feel a lack of self-worth after an intense love affair, so it is necessary for them to remind themselves of their good qualities. Doing so not only helps in changing one’s perception of the relationship but one’s self-image.
Extreme cases of breakups can cause an adolescent to engage in risky behaviors or feel intense emotions. Parents who fear their child is not coping properly should immediately consult with their trusted child and adolescent psychiatrist.