Sunday, 2 August 2015

how heartbreak effects the brain

" does losing the love of your life change the chemical composition of your brain? First of all, let's make it clear that heartbreak really does hurt. Functional MRI scans have shown that people who have recently been dumped have higher than normal activity in the region of the brain that registers physical pain.
This triggers the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, leading to all kinds of physical symptoms, such as nausea, difficulty breathing, and also a weakening of the heart muscle that doctors call Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and can sometimes be fatal.
But let's get back to our brains, because those stress hormones aren't the only ones flooding our systems. Back in 2010, researchers from Rutgers University in New York asked 10 women and five men who'd recently been dumped, but were still "intensely in love", to get inside an MRI machine and look at photos of their ex. That literally sounds like the worst kind of torture you could put someone who's dealing with a breakup through, but it provided some fascinating insight into the neuroscience of being dumped (thank you, heartbroken warriors of science).
In fact, the scans showed that their brain activity was very similar to that of an addict going through cocaine withdrawals. And that's because falling in love is a lot like becoming hooked on drugs - when you're smitten with someone, it activates the 'reward' neurons in your brain, and this triggers the release of the feel-good hormone dopamine...."

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