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Withdrawal Symptoms of Heartbreak - Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment

Withdrawal Symptoms of Heartbreak


TIME magazine has reported on a study done by professors from Rutgers University, Einstein College of Medicine and State University of New York, Stony Brook, that looks at the brain activity and subsequent reactions of individuals who had been dumped by their girlfriends or boyfriends.

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They found that the participants’ reward/survival systems in their brains were activated when they thought about their lost lovers. This area in the brain is activated by other processes such as “motivational relevance, gain/loss, cocaine craving, addiction,and emotion regulation.”1 These findings suggest that the emotions fostered in a relationship activate a part of the brain in such a way that, when a person is dumped by a lover, he/she can go through a series of withdrawal symptoms just as a person with substance addiction would.


The study is very small, studying only 15 participants. However, further studies may investigate the brain activity of those who have chosen to end relationships, as well as what are the types of chemicals created during a relationship, how do they activate this part of the brain, and why are there withdrawal symptoms if these chemicals are not created.


For compete study click here:

1) “Reward, Addiction, and Emotion Regulation Systems Associated With Rejection in Love.” Helen E. Fisher, Lucy L. Brown, Arthur Aron, Greg Strong and Debra Mashek. Journal of Neurophysiology. May 2010. Date access: July 28, 2010.


For complete TIME article, click here:

“The Cruelest Study: Why Breakups Hurt” Belinda Luscombe. TIME. July 9, 2010. Date access: July 27, 2010.





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