Sometimes after a really bad breakup (wait, are there good breakups?), I wake up in the morning and I am so sad I actually feel like I’m in physical pain. I used to think it was all in my head, but it turns out it’s not. Now, I can comfort myself with the fact that I’m not ultra-sensitive. A new study shows that the distress from social rejection—getting dumped, left out or snubbed—is generated by the same area of the brain that controls physical pain from, say, a broken bone. That’s right, a study of 122 students found that those who are easily hurt physically are more likely to reel from the sting of rejection. In animals, opium-like painkillers help relieve emotional and physical pain. For me, this sounds like a bit of a stretch. Of course, you’re going to feel less emotional pain if you are on painkillers so strong they make you feel high. Still, it’s interesting.
Scientists think these findings could help peeps find drugs that sooth emotional pain. The thing is, they have to find ones that aren’t addictive. Wait a second. Is this creepy? Rather than just blame biology and rely on drugs shouldn’t we work through and learn from pain? Popping pills to make ourselves feel better after a breakup sounds a lot like —oh, I don’t know—drug addiction. What do you think?