Heartbreak Hurts... Literally!

Heartbreak Hurts... Literally!
Remember the day the world learned Katie Holmes had just filed from Tom Cruise? Sure most people do. How, oh, how did that one happen everyone wondered. No one even saw it coming, not even poor Tom. But Katie was ready... She was done. And even though it seemed like she had the perfect man, beautiful child and glamorous life, that was just it. She wanted out. And did everything she could to get out. Lesson here: People end up doing what they have to do. Sure, there's always a better way to handle things. But sometimes, pushing all the other variables out of the way will be the only way to move forward with what works for you.

Think about the last time you broke up with someone. How did that feel? Me, I’ve only had one breakup hurt so very bad. It kept me in bed all weekend… And it took me an actual year to feel like myself.

Ugh. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. And it seems as though now science can back up why the hell it hurts so bad when you lose someone.

It’s because your body literally freaks out! According to last month’s issue of Women’s Health Magazine, there are several reactions:

  • The release of the fight or flight hormone which responds to those stress-filled, tense situations
  • The parts of your brain that respond to evaluation and reassessment react, especially if you look at photos that remind you of that lost one
  • Your stomach slows down as a response to the stress in your body
  • Agitation of your immune system
  • Cortisol triggering pore-clogging build up that affects your skin
  • And your hair can enter a “resting phase,” which can slow down your hair growth or even make the hair fall out

So there really is a physical equation that affects you when talking about breakups! But that isn’t all. If you pick up October’s issue of Glamour, Brian Alexander and Larry J. Young, Ph.D. contend that “every behavior related to love, sex, and intimacy starts in the brain.” And according to them, we have much less control over these behaviors than we’d like to believe. Some of the findings from the article and the forthcoming book:

  • Breakups are tougher on the male gender. Apparently since dudes don’t talk to each other about this, it means they’re more likely dealing with it alone. Guess it is a facade!
  • Both genders are prone to physical attachment! Go figure. Under the influence of vasopressin, their findings reveal that men form a bond with you during sex that makes him crave you.
  • Love is an addiction. Passion can wane with  time because the brain’s reward system physically changes the same way it does for a heroin addict: its receptors for dopamine, are altered, and in place of the rush you feel more of a need. You must have your partner to avoid feeling miserable.

With all this science, it’s no wonder that breakups and heartbreak are just lousy feeling all around. So of course, we seem justified for breaking out that pint of ice cream and playing the saddest love music we can find.

That said, break out the sweets or wine, indulge a little of the pain and then try — as hard as you can — to skip it. The next pick me up is waiting just right around the corner.

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