Why heartbreak hurts, literally...
How is it that you keep yourself from focusing on other kinds of pain? Wonder why you sleep a lot or watch a lot of tv? Some people work a ton... What are your comforts? What gets you distracted? Work? Hot cocoa? Ramen noodles? Whatever it is, grab hold of it to help comfort your pain.
I've been reading this seriously awesome book called, "The Female Brain" and am learning more and more about myself (us) with every paragraph. Louann Brizendine, M.D. has been studying the female brain and hormones (we are fascinating and far more complicated than our male counterparts, no wonder they love us so much) for years and has her own psychiatric clinic. She's done phenomenal research and has comibined it with the work of various types of research and it's giving me more insight into why we are the way we are. For this particular post, she inspired me to post about heartbreak and why it LITERALLY hurts so bad. She explains that romantic love is like a drug as it releases certain types of hormones that act a lot like dopamine. So, when you break up with a lover the withdrawal is as Louann explains... "as if weaning from a drug." That withdrawal takes over. The reason heartbreak acts as a literal pain because it "triggers the same circuits in teh brain." The chemical shift from high activity of romantic love to the flat loss of grief is a hormonal shift from love's "dopamine" to a black cloud of reality. So now when your heart hurts, you can understand why... not only that but knowing more about your brain and how this pain affects you, you can better deal with it.
Here you go Louanne, some free advertising... you deserve it.