Breaking Up Hurts Because The Body Really Does Feel Pain


Breaking Up Hurts Because The Body Really Does Feel Pain
A broken heart for many people is the same pain sensation of getting physically hurt.

Breaking up is hard to do, is more complicated than one may think.

Our bodies not only get attracted to another human on a mental level but a chemical level as well. When that attachment gets broken our bodies will go through a phase of withdrawal. Not only does our mind long for that person but the loss of the chemical connection literally sends a message to the brain or the brain sends a message to the body that simulates pain.


A broken heart for many people is the same pain sensation of getting physically hurt.

Breaking up or being dumped actually heightens the pheromone of passionate love in the brain circuits of both men and women. Withdrawal from this is like weaning off of a drug, that is why physical distance from that person is helpful in the breaking up process. The breakup triggers our fear of survival in the amygdala, this part of the brain that engages in worry and critical thinking or judgment. That is why some of the strange actions of a love sick person can seem so bizarre. In this state obsessive thoughts can take over, this is the equivalent of the rush of passion that one may feel in a new relationship. This same process happens in the negative sense over the loss of the person.

When love is lost men are three times more likely to commit suicide, whereas females tend to fall into a state of depression. Rejection, as studied in brain imaging tests, reveals that the same circuits in the brain that triggers physical pain also, triggers the same pain over the loss of a loved one. The studies show that the chemical shift from the high activity of active love becomes flat biochemistry of loss and grief. Many times people do not understand that the loss of a marriage or relationship really can feel like a death.

Love can hurt, but it can also be the most wonderful gift, understanding that it is not always a conscious choice that we end up loving can shed some light on the very complicated feeling of human connections. We really do love as humans with our mind, body and our brain chemistry……

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Dawn Michael

Sex Therapist

Dawn Michael PhD ACS

Location: Westlake Village, CA
Credentials: BA, MA, PhD
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