Nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia… During a romantic breakup, there are numerous physiological changes. But what is actually happening in our brain? The answer.
Often trivialized, the breakup is, in reality, much more violent than it seems. This mourning of the loved one affects the mind, but also the body and the brain.
During a breakup, the brain goes into overdrive
A romantic breakup can be experienced as a real “trauma”, since by losing someone, you also lose a part of yourself – and your life.
An upheaval, particularly hormonal, which must therefore be taken seriously.
The body, in a state of continuous alert, must face numerous internal upheavals (release of cortisol and epinephrine, rise in blood pressure, higher temperature, etc.).
But this significant emotional stress also disrupts the brain, which begins to “overheat” in certain areas associated with physical pain.
The person experiencing heartbreak may then feel pain in the heart, a feeling of suffocation, headaches… and many other unpleasant physical symptoms.
“But how the body and brain react really depends on each person’s temperament. Some people will be completely devastated, will need to cry, to stop, even to be pitied, while others, more combative, will draw positive lessons from this painful episode, while clinging to the reality. For them, life must go on“, says Amélie Boukhobza, clinical psychologist.
Heartache: what is the right attitude to adopt?
There is no “standard instruction manual” to follow to the letter, believes the expert.
“The right attitude to adopt is the one that suits you best. You really have to listen to yourself in these moments. For some, taking the time to experience their pain is necessary, for others stopping could lead to collapse. How to survive a breakup is therefore unique to each person.“, recalls the psychologist, before adding “We cannot judge how a person recovers from heartbreak, just as we cannot judge how much love they had for their former partner.“.