Until recently, the universal spell “time heals” has been the mainstay of healing therapy for broken hearts. Fortunately, science is not standing still, and scientists have finally found something worthwhile, embodied in an effective (and fast!) Way to solve the problem.
Breaking up is an ordeal that is difficult to overcome. Separation turns the world inside out, knocks you down, makes you cry, twists your stomach, keeps you awake. Psychologists have found that suffering becomes especially unbearable if you are left for someone else’s sake.
“Apart from the fact that the breakup due to betrayal forces the abandoned to torment themselves with questions endlessly, what is the other better, experiences about this intensify the conflict between the growing sense of alienation and the inner need for belonging,” explains one of the recent articles of the Journal of Psychology personality and social psychology. “
But there is good news: emotions after separation are amenable to correction! A recent study at the University of Colorado at Boulder showed that pain associated with tearing could be relieved with a placebo.
Forty men and women who fell victim to love dramas volunteered to study how the brain reacts to a breakup. Participants were asked to bring a photograph of a loved one with them. After watching the picture and thinking about the recent breakup, all respondents underwent an MRI scan of the brain.
After that, they were expected to continue the experiment (no less cruel): they were inflicted with physical pain (for sympathizers, there is a detail – it is not clear what, but in the forearm area) and again sent for an MRI.
As a result, it turned out that physical and emotional pain activates similar parts of the brain. As the lead author of the study, professor of psychology and neuroscience Tor Wager, summed up: “Emotional suffering, particularly the experience of breaking up with loved ones, is not inferior to physical suffering and is just as real from a neurochemical point of view.”
But that’s not all. Scientists have continued to experiment on those with broken hearts, dividing the participants into two groups and giving out the first nasal spray designed to get rid of emotional pain (in fact, it was a placebo).
Other volunteers also received an aerosol but knew that it contained the only saline. Two weeks later, those who knew that they were rinsing their nostrils with salted water did not diminish their feelings, but the rest, believing that they were using something compelling, felt much better.
Impressive? Definitely. All kinds of suffering involve the same parts of the brain, but emotional trauma heals faster if the brain is made to believe in a remedy. It remains only to find a therapist who will prescribe sweets, sorry, pills for a broken heart.