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Scientific Effects Heartbreak Has On The Body


When your heart is broken, it can feel like the end of the world. No amount of pain has ever felt so agonizing or concentrated. It’s like a giant hole was pummeled into your chest, with no hope of repair.

You cry, you scream, you watch Netflix until you’ve seen every documentary your subscription has to offer and yet nothing seems to smooth your heartbreak or soothe the longing you feel.

True Story: Breakups are a bitch, and heartbreak is a bigger bitch than f*cking karma.

I think I can say with pretty solid confidence, most people would rather get smacked in the face with a metal pole than get their hearts broken. It’s why we try to avoid it.

Our bodies literally repel being dumped because there’s no greater pain than heartbreak. The struggle is just so real, and the risks we take by falling in love are innumerable and terrifying.

The thing is, a breakup is really, really f*cking bad for your health. You might think it’s all in your head, but it’s not. You truly are experiencing an illness.

Here are eight scientific things that happen to your body when you have a broken heart, proving it’s just about the worst thing in world.

Your brain thinks you’re physically hurt.

When you get viciously dumped, it can feel like someone has punched you in the stomach, knocking all the wind out of you.

It can be consuming, as if your entire body were suddenly in Rigamortis. Guess what? While nothing has physically been done to you, your brain literally is telling your body the pain is real.

As Naomi Eisenbuerger, Ph.D., and assistant professor of psychology at the University of California at Los Angels told Women’s Health Magazine, the area of your brain that lights up when you’re hurt physically is the same area that lights up when you suffer “social rejection.”

So, when we say heartbreak “hurts like hell,” you know it actually hurts.

You either get really heavy or really thin.

Having your heart broken can go one of two ways: you either binge-eat or eat nothing.

It’s all about how you cope with sadness. Some people eat their feelings, using food as a distraction and a comfort while they cry their hearts out, watching an endless stream of Lifetime movies. Others are so racked with anxiety, they can’t even think about eating; food becomes disgusting and indigestible.

For some, heartbreak can be the most fabulously unhealthy diet known to man.

You’re swimming in stress hormones.

As Women’s Health Magazine explains, when you’re in love, your brain is inundated with the neurochemicals dopamine and oxytocin, making you experience feelings of happiness and pleasure. After all, love is more addicting than drugs, according to science.

When you get your heart broken, though, all those lovey-dovey chemicals wash right out of your system, leaving you victim to stress hormones. Your brain pumps your body full of cortisol and epinephrine.

An overabundance of cortisol tells your brain to send too much blood to your muscles, causing them to tense up, ostensibly for swift action. But you’re not leaping anywhere, and as a result you’re plagued with swollen muscles causing headaches, a stiff neck and an awful squeezing sensation in your chest.

The verdict? Heartbreak is really f*cking bad for you.

You’ll be depressed.

Though this one might be obvious, but studies have actually proven heartbreak does cause depression. According to Psychology Today, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University studied 7,000 male and female twins and analyzed their levels of depression and anxiety based on traumatic experiences in their lives.

The research found “losses that involved lower self-esteem were twice as likely to trigger depression as ones that involved loss alone.” Read: Getting rejected by your boyfriend or girlfriend is the greatest self-esteem hit of them all.

Withdrawal is real.

As I mentioned before, love is just as addicting as drugs, specifically cocaine. When you’re a cocaine addict cut off from the drug, your body goes through withdrawal. The same thing happens when


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