Heartbreak and Heath: The Effects of Emotional Trauma On Your Body

Image result for heartbreak picture

photo courtesy of quotesgram.com

By Rachel Giffin

Researchers at KidsHealth.com have come stumbled upon something that we all inherently know but seem to always avoid talking about: heartbreak affects every aspect of your life, from work to grades to relationships with other people. As human beings, we have or will have experienced this at some point in our lives. Now we must figure out why and how to make life easier on ourselves in light of it.

With Homecoming just around the corner, there are all sorts of romantic endeavors happening all around us. Teenage boys and girls are asking each other to the most exciting event of the fall season, the annual Homecoming dance, and while many dreams come true on this magical night, many, tragically, do not.

There will always be that teenager whose hopes get dashed in the event of not getting asked to Homecoming. Either their date fell through, their potential date didn’t actually have the courage to ask them, or, in a few cases, they were asked as a joke. Either way, it’s an emotional, even traumatizing time for many.

The stress of Homecoming, especially for those without a date, can be overwhelming. Studies show that any amount of emotional trauma can have an effect on our bodies, producing side affects such as migraines, nausea, and lack of sleep.

In a study done by the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that emotional and physical pain are registered in the same section of the brain, which explains why when we suffer emotionally, many times our physical health is also compromised. In very serious cases, such as a death in the family or the loss of a significant aspect of one’s life, the American Heart Association has found that a “broken heart” can lead to death. Given enough emotional stress, the tendons inside the heart can snap, causing the heart to collapse and the result is similar to a heart attack. The good news is that while it still hurts, no matter how bad your emotional trauma is, the chances of dying of heartbreak is actually very rare, though it has been known to happen in a few cases.

Because emotional and physical pain are registered the same to the brain, it’s understandable why we should feel both when we experience disappointment or loss. It explains the many symptoms discussed in an article posted on Our Daily Life, which includes dropping grades, failing friendships, and loss of interest in previously entertaining activities.

So as Homecoming rolls around, it’s an emotional time for everyone, whether you’ve got a date or not. But while it definitely is a memorable event, its outcome isn’t the end of the world, and Monday morning comes and the world exists again just as it’s always done. It’s important then to understand that heartbreak, especially for teens, may hurt, but it’s most likely not fatal.


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