Round #2 Research Cycle 2 - How does heartbreak affect our body physically?

Hi everyone! 

I'm glad to be back for my second round of research of my second cycle! In case you haven't read my first round or are interested in reading this post, I will remind you that my inquiry question is.. 

                          "What is the science behind heartbreak?"

Last round, I went into detail about why it is called heartbreak, if it happens to all of us, what is the relation from evolution and does it always have something to do with love. In this round, I will be covering the following: 

  • How does it impact our mental health? 
  • How does it affect our willingness to try out new relationships? 
  • The impact it has on our sleep

Now that you know what you will be discovering in this post, let's get started! 

The impact it has on mental health

(1) Recent researchers have discovered that rejection, and emotional and physical pain, are all processed in the same regions in the brain. Using this information we have just learned, it is important to remember for it will be more useful in my future rounds of research! 

Image result for mental health

Continuing on, the "feeling" we get when heartbroken (which can derive from the loss of a close one, a break up, or even betrayal) causes similar affects to your mental health. Let's look at a few. 

Stress Hormones

(2) When you're happy, your brain is inundated with neurochemicals; dopamine and oxytocin. These make you feel happiness and pleasure. However, when the sensation of "hurt, and sorrow" hits, these chemicals wash straight out of your system. Now, not literally. But, you get the point. 

Image result for dopamine and oxytocin

Your body then begins to pump cortisol and epinephrine, certain hormones created by neurons. 

Fun fact: An overabundance of cortisol tells your brain to send too much blood to your muscles, causing them to tense up. But you aren't leaping anywhere, so as a result, you can get swollen muscles causing a stiff neck and an awful squeezing sensation in your chest. From this, it is straightforward to understand how physical attributes to the body may be connected from emotional values. 

(2) To elaborate on the sensation of "hurt and sorrow", depression is real and can be an upsetting result. Studies have showed that losses involving lower self esteem were twice as likely to cause depression as one that involves loss alone. 

(3) Leading from depression and anxiety, the low levels one can reach can lead to substance abuse and even, suicide. Shockingly, this is the most common outcome of shaken romantic relationships between adolescents of ages of 15-18 years old. In one study, 40 percent experienced clinical depression following the separation of a romantic relationship. However, we must understand once again that the term "heartbreak" can vary from different scenarios, and romantic relationships is solely an example of this occurrence. 

How does it affect our willingness to try out new relationships? 

No matter the situation, there is always hope after feeling so miserable. (4) However, this all depends on the reason one is upset or how long their relationship (family related, loved one, etc) lasted. For example, a romantic relationship of 4 years or perhaps the devastating death of a parent. Accepting the risks of the future and leaving the past with closure may be difficult, especially when memories were made in the making.

Image result for relationships

Recovery may take some time; mixed with mental emotions such as anger or confusion. However, one has the ability of courage to love again. Take it this way. Every time your heart breaks, or in better terms "you reach such a low pit of emotions", you grow emotionally stronger from the experiences in the past. It takes potential aspects to open up to someone in terms of building new relationships. Studies show that the primary reason one is too hesitant to overcome the next chapter in their life and to move on is the fear of feeling "broken and empty" in the inside. 

The impact it has on our sleep

(5) When one is feeling gloomy, their first initial instinct is to isolate themselves. Most specifically, spend more time curled in bed. As the majority of one's thoughts is about the event that just occurred, it is most probable that their sleep is not at it's best point. 

This is when the development of insomnia can occur. (6) Insomnia is the difficulty of falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has a chance to do so. Causes of insomnia could be emotional disturbances and disorders such as depression or anxiety. These factors can be rooted from our "heavy heartbreak." 

Someone could be struggling through insomnia due to their fear that they will also not sleep well. Seeing a mental health professional would be the most effective resolution. 

That's it for this round!

I hope you learned some interesting new information on the impacts of heartbreak on mental health and sleep. In next round's research, I will be discussing emotional pain vs physical pain. Primarily, how is heartbreak related to physical pain? What is the significance behind it? How are intrusive thoughts related? What are they? What are the symptoms of withdrawal? How can the feeling of heartbreak be related to drug withdrawal?

Lists of sources used in numerical order: 

1 - https://www.healthline.com/hea...our-health#the-brain
2- https://www.elitedaily.com/dat...y-bad-for-you/970609
3- https://theconversation.com/te...rt-it-can-kill-81878  
4 - https://www.regain.us/advice/l...eartbreak-heres-how/
5 - https://askdrnandi.com/heartbreak-affects-your-body/
6 - https://www.sleepfoundation.or...somnia/what-insomnia

Sources for photos used: 

https://cusjc.ca/catalyst/project/3551/
https://www.slideshare.net/Lor...ytocin-and-endorphin
https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-b...loser-relationships/ 

See you! 

-Venus

 

Original Post

Hello Venus,,,

I like the way you have listed the physical effect of heartbreak,I discovered that the experience of heartbreak can be so intense that some scientists suggest that it feels the same as physical pain. In one study, people manifested similar brain activity when they viewed a photo of a former love and when they felt severe heat on their arm. ... Looks like heartbreak really can painfully hurt the human heart.

Great post!am looking forward for your next post.

Hey Venus,

Great round of research! I like how you separated it into 3 concise sections of information: effects of mental health, sleep, and new relationships. You incorporated some really interesting yet very shocking information, such as the main outcome of breakups amongst 15-18 year old is suicide and depression could also result. I have also read recently that heartbreak has an actual effect on the heart, and it's called "Broken Heart Syndrome", or stress-induced cardiomyopathy. I think that looking into the physical toll that heartbreak has on your literal heart would be very intriguing, to contextualize the severity of the problem on your organs. The symptoms of stress-induced cardiomyopathy are very similar to those of a heart attack, therefore the problem is very serious and very legit. So, not only does heartbreak have an effect on your body mentally and on your sleep habits, it actually effects your organs negatively too. I know that it also causes weight loss and aches around your body, but that's only the beginning of its effects. It would be very interesting if you went into this aspect of research! Here are some links that could get you started, otherwise awesome research round once again!

https://www.elitedaily.com/dat...y-bad-for-you/970609

https://iheartintelligence.com...fects-of-heartbreak/

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