If you love someone, you know how painful it can be to lose them, to no longer have them with you, to no longer share precious moments. When that beloved man or woman is gone due to illness or death, no matter how emotionally painful your loss is you can find some comfort in knowing that you were loved and that your love with this person continues. However, after a breakup, you no longer feel the comfort of love. Even if you know the breakup is probably for the best, you may experience some devastating emotional – and even physical – symptoms.
Let me share with you a special guest post written by Daniel Arlan.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the infographic.
Breakups are not easy
The single biggest challenge most people encounter is how to get over someone after a breakup. And that is the primary focus of this guide.
We’ll explain many things including some of the physiological changes that are happening to your body and its impact on your psychology in simple terms.
The Broken Heart Syndrome
Yes, it’s a real affliction and symptoms include irregular heartbeat, a sudden chest pain that feels like something constricting the chest, and shortness of breath. All these symptoms are also present in heart diseases such as the onset of a stroke or a heart attack. However, a quick ECG test should reveal the difference. With Broken Heart Syndrome, the ECG records will show a heart functioning normally despite the outward symptoms. Blood tests should also show negative signs of heart blockage or damage, and you should return to normal after a few weeks to a month.
Breakups and Dopamine
Essentially dopamine is what manages your feelings of pleasure and a sense of being rewarded. While that is all good, the second part is where it starts to get tricky. Dopamine not only helps you spot situations where you get rewarded and motivates you; it also motivates you to seek them out in its absence. In some sense, this is very similar to the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal.
Dopamine is very high with people addicted to something or in the throes of withdrawal. It spurs us to seek out the object that gives us that high or satisfaction, no matter what. It’s not any wonder then that there would be a lot of dopamine in the brains of people who are madly in love whether the love is just new, or after a breakup. In many ways being in love is like being dependent on a drug.
However, when the drug is suddenly not ingested anymore, the addict goes into withdrawal and begins to obsessively crave for it. It’s the same for the newly broken-hearted. If you are just experiencing a breakup, your mind is still very addicted to the highs your ex once provided for you and will spur you to seek him or her out, no matter how unpleasant or inappropriate it may be. For many people, this manifests in them stalking their exes on social media, drunk calling or texting, or any other form of creepy behaviour.
The Connection between Breakups and Physical Pain
A breakup is very similar to physical pain, getting over an addiction, or even losing a loved one to death. A very revealing study by cognitive neuroscientists at Columbia University used brain scans to observe the brain activity of people who had recently had a breakup. The brain scans of the participants who had endured a recent breakup were compared to the brain scans of other participants who had been given a hot and painful probe on the arm. The participants who had experienced a breakup were shown pictures of their ex, then pictures of their friends.
The results showed that the same parts of the brain that are active in physical pain were active when the participants were shown pictures of their ex. When they viewed pictures of their friends, these areas of the brain were inactive. The participants who were scalded on the arm experienced the same brain activity as those of the ones shown pictures of their ex. A breakup as painful as being scalded on the arm by some hot substance? Some would even agree that a breakup feels even more painful than that.
The five stages of grieving in a breakup.
Most breakups go through a series of stages that fall into these categories:
Its important to understand these in order to not make a fool of yourself by doing some crazy things. (Admit it, we all know someone that has done things they later regret after a breakup.)The use of alcohol, drugs, or food to cope with your loneliness and the many alternatives you can use to keep yourself sane and healthy and believe it or not, retail therapy is not the top answer amongst people that were surveyed after a break-up.If you would like to know what was the most popular coping mechanism then check out the full article on how to get over a breakup.The article will show you that all you need to remember is that you are not the first to go through this and you won’t be the last. You will move on, and you will succeed in finding the partner you deserve so be good to yourself, take care of yourself, and before you know it, you will be in another relationship debating over whose turn it is to put the bin out.
I hope you never have to experience the devastating effects of a breakup.
CONTACT ME for support, counseling or coaching to help you survive and thrive.
Erica Goodstone, Ph.D., Love Mentor and Relationship Healer
Where There Is Love There IS A Way