Psychologist Offers Advice to Fans Grieving One Direction Split

Cropped SingleCare logo By | October 7, 2015

The possibly imminent breakup of One Direction has many fans on the verge of a breakdown. Contrary to what might be your gut reaction, Dr. Petra Boynton says that this is no laughing matter.

As reported by People Magazine, the famous boy band One Direction will be taking a break in March of 2016. The news has hit their millions of fans hard — very hard. In response, Dr. Boynton, a regular contributor to The Telegraph, has offered some tips to help cope with the grief.

Why Me?

If you’re feeling particularly down about this news, you’re not alone. Millions of fans are collectively shedding tears for One Direction, but they’re not alone in their grieving. Directioners are the latest group in a long historical lineage of fanbases to experience band-related trauma.

Followers of Take That, NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, and even the Beatles have faced similar heartbreak, and have offered their support for one another over Twitter, as The Telegraph reports. As Dr. Boynton reminds us, we “aren’t alone and [we] aren’t unusual.”

It might be surprising to many fans — and for many who aren’t fans — that the breakup of a band can be so affecting. Dr. Boynton points out that our tastes, the things that drive us and on which we spend our free time and money, are a crucial part of our identity and help to define our sense of self.

In the age of social media, those who we choose to follow on Instagram and Snapchat are a real part of our lives — and vice versa. Posts and photos allow us to connect with celebrities and bands in ways that, before now, simply weren’t available. Coupled with the number of interviews and performances freely available online, social media enables us to form a very real relationship with our favorite celebs.

Dr. Boynton even relates the breakup of a favorite band to a more personal loss: “Reacting to a band breaking up can feel similar to a relationship ending.” She says that, afterward, it’s not unusual to have difficulty concentrating, or be tearful, anxious, bad-tempered, or otherwise obsessive over the news.

While it can be easy to write off these feelings as silly or inconsequential, depression is no laughing matter. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 14.8 million adults (which therefore excludes mainly-teenage One Directioners) suffer from depressive episodes.

What to Do

Dr. Boynton suggests closely monitoring your reaction to the news. Reaching out to fellow Directioners can help the healing process, but be wary of malicious internet trolls — and your own possibly obsessive thoughts. Most importantly, keep things in perspective. The breakup is, after all, unconfirmed, and many bands reunite after initially parting ways.

If you are experiencing depression, whether exacerbated by One Direction or not, it’s vitally important to seek help — 80% of people that receive treatment for depression show improvement. It never hurts to talk things over with a professional to see if treatment is right for you.

SingleCare is an alternative to traditional health insurance, and can help you find treatment at a reasonable cost. When you can save an average of 48% on mental healthcare costs, a simple visit to a clinic is always worth it.

(Main image credit: DJRosstheboss/flickr)