Love As An Addiction – It’s Hard To Break

By Kayla Pagan –

Grades dropping, tears falling, bad habits and more, are all results of teenage breakups.

But heartbreak isn’t only a emotional situation, it actually causes physical pain, literal heartbreak.  It also can increase a person’s heart rate and make someone’s pupils dilate.

Adoree Durayappah, a psychologist and writer for the Huffington Post stated that scientists at the University of Amsterdam have found that social rejection is connected to the parasympathetic nervous system.

“Any time I would see my ex my heart would go crazy,” said Shayna Sanchez, a junior at Penn Manor.

But after the reality of the breakup happens, another symptom can be passivity, according to the research.

“I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere for the longest time.  I found myself locked in my room listening to the most depressing music I could find, wanting nothing to do with the world,” said Liz Rivera, a senior at Penn Manor High School.

Getting over a breakup is like recovering from a cocaine addiction, researchers at Stony Brook University said.  Motivation, reward and addiction cravings are all generated from the same part of the brain as pain and anguish, feelings felt during a breakup.

Relationships are addicting.  We get so used to them, so used to any and everything associated with that significant other, that when we lose them it’s like we’re going through withdrawal.

“Everything changed, I didn’t know what to do, or who to turn to, I relied on her for so long, that when she was gone, I felt lost,” said junior Maddi Eckenrode.

The joy of gaining something is not nearly as strong as the pain of losing someone.

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist, studied how people make choices where they have to decide between risk-taking alternatives.  Durayappah’s example was that people find that losing $50 is more significant than gaining $50.

Similarly, psychological research suggests the human brain always loses more than it gains.  The joy of entering a new relationship is nothing compared to the pain caused by breakups.

“I’m so scared to give my all to someone else, who knows when they’ll be gone,” said 11th grader, Kyle Black.

“It’s easier to avoid falling for someone, because when they walk out of my life it won’t hurt as much,” said Liz Rivera.

People tend to be loss averse, they avoid the chances of risking loss more than taking the chance to potentially gain.

“We want to avoid the risk of losing, even though there could be a chance for true love,” said Durayappah.

Physiologically, breakups are heart-breaking.  But it’s not necessary to tell teens that, they already know.

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