Today I wanted to speak about hypervigilance. According to Webster (2021), hypervigilance is an adjective that describes a person as “highly or abnormally alert to potential danger or threat”. This can occur after a heartbreak, injury, or any other traumatic event. Yes, you can be traumatized after a heartbreak.
Have you ever broken up with someone and every guy after that was repulsive to you? Like you couldn’t even look at them without getting annoyed? You may have been overly sensitive about who a new person you dated was staring at, texting, calling, why they texted “love you” instead of “I love you”. Some people like to refer to this behavior as insecure, but coming from a therapist; sometimes it’s trauma!
Often we avoid seeking professional help after we experience a bad breakup or traumatic event but it’s necessary to process through those feelings. We will attend rehab or physical therapy for a physical injury but for a heartbreak, neglect our mental and emotional well-being. Why? I’d like to theorize that it’s because no one can physically see that. If someone was in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives or had a limp, that would be visible and we would feel seen. If you get heartbroken, you feel you can conceal those feelings from everyone else. I’m here to tell you that it shows up. I’m here to tell you that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean your behaviors won’t tell on you! Journal about your experiences, find a counselor, talk about your concerns with a trusted friend, and help yourself move forward so you can prevent these seemingly paranoid behaviors. Who knows, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder?! It happens everyday.