Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

(Link): A relationship expert reveals the best ways to get over someone

Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of “Anatomy of Love,” says heartbreak has physiological effects on our minds and bodies. There’s a scientific reason it hurts so much.

(Link): Why Breaking Up is So Hard, and How to Cope

Excerpts:

by Kelsey Chun
Feb 2020

There’s science behind a broken heart—but recovery is possible

…  Research has shown why our biology makes breaking up so hard for us, but thankfully it has also provided some helpful tips on what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

… one can better understand the unfortunate aftermath if a romantic relationship should end; it’s something akin to a drug withdrawal. Dr. Fisher and her colleague Lucy Brown also did research on people’s brains after they had just been broken up with, and their findings are in line with Dr. Fisher’s previous research.

While looking at images of their exes during MRIs, three brain regions light up in these heartbroken people: the first is the same brain region that lights up when someone is in love.

Dr. Fisher explains the meaning of this in her TED talk [(Link): The Brain In Love], “When you’ve been dumped, the one thing you want to do is forget about this human being and then go on with your life, but no, you just love them harder.” That brain system is the reward system, and it only becomes more active when you can’t get what you want—a loving partner.

[Self Care Tips After a Break Up]

…While manicures and shopping sprees are certainly nice, real self-care is about taking care of your own emotions, which often looks like being kinder rather than harsher with yourself, letting yourself cry, or saying “no” to activities that might overwhelm you more easily.

On the other hand, self-care might also include doing more, such as getting involved in more activities, hobbies, or projects.

Continue reading “Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher”

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Disclaimer: All names have been changed in the post below to keep people’s identities anonymous.


One of the things I’ve noticed in the last few years is that when I’ve accepted a situation, whether something current or something from years ago that once bothered me a lot, is that it speeds up the recovery process.

I used to hold on tightly to people or dreams or hopes. In the last few years, I’ve gotten better at Letting Go.

(I’ve not arrived at perfection at this, but I have improved a lot in the last couple of years.)

Instead of constantly regretting, feeling sad or angry about a past incident, or that my life is not where I want it to be now, I’ve learned to accept my past and present, and that has definitely been good for my mental health – and I’m more able to enjoy each day as it is, instead of sitting around angry or upset that things aren’t how I had hoped or planned.

I don’t get as upset by set backs as I once did.

Continue reading “Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change”

Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap

Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap

If you are someone who is currently in the grieving process because someone you love died within the last five years, some of the tips below by Dr. Trunzo (article: “The Best Life Possible”) about acceptance in regards to chronic health conditions may be useful to you as well in regards to your grief, so please scroll down to read that.


Don’t forget to see my two previous posts about Covert Narcissism, as those posts explain that sometimes, people with Covert Narcissism will either exaggerate or lie about physical or mental health illness to garner sympathy and attention from others, and they often have a “victim mentality.”

In particular, in (Link): this post about Covert Narcissism, scroll down to find the section entitled “The Psychosomatic.” (That section is located about half-way down that page.)

You’ll notice that a lot of the tips and advice in the first article below, which was reviewed by a medical doctor, echo and repeat the same set of tips and advice I have given to (Link): people I’ve known before, people who insist these tips do not work (though some of it worked for me or for other people, in regards to clinical depression), or they dismiss this advice as being nothing but mere “platitudes” or “pep talks,”, or, (Link): some of these people dismiss this type of advice on other grounds.

Recap on my situation:
I was diagnosed with clinical depression by a psychiatrist at a young age, had it verified by three additional psychiatrists as I got into my 30s.
I lived with depression for over 35 years, and largely found my way out of it (on my own), and I can tell you that escaping depression involved doing some of the very things mentioned in the articles below.

Other than lower back pain I’ve dealt with since a teen, I’ve not had chronic physical pain.

Chronic Physical Pain & Mental Health

From my research into the topic of chronic pain and mental health, I’m finding articles by people (some doctors, some lay persons) who live with a chronic pain condition who do talk about the possible slide into self pity, how to avoid it, and how to manage any depression that results from, or accompanies, the pain.

So obviously, things can be done to change here – it’s not as though a person is doomed with no recourse if they live with a physical health problem to necessarily stay in a hopeless, despondent emotional or psychological state (this is also true for physically disabled persons who (Link): must use wheelchairs)

(Link):  The best life possible by Joseph Trunzo

Excerpts:

Living with chronic illness is hard. But there are psychological techniques that make it possible to thrive even when ill

‘Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.’
John Wooden (1910-2010), NCAA basketball coach

by Joseph Trunzo, professor of psychology at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and a clinical psychologist. He is the author of Living Beyond Lyme: Reclaim Your Life From Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness (2018).

—- — —-

Before Donna got her diagnosis, she thought of herself as a musician, a busy professional, a volunteer, a mother, a grandmother. After she got her diagnosis – Parkinson’s disease, at age 58 – she thought of herself as a patient.

The time she used to spend engaging in the things that gave her life meaning was eaten up by doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests and constant monitoring of her symptoms, her energy, her reactions to medication. Her sense of loss was profound and undeniable.

Unfortunately, Donna’s experience is all too common. Heart disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, depression, cancer, asthma, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease: the list goes on.

I would guess that most people know someone close to them who is suffering from one of these debilitating chronic conditions, if not struggling with a diagnosis themselves.

However, as a clinical psychologist, I see many people trying to navigate the daily vagaries of chronic afflictions. I’ve worked with people who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, Lyme disease, obesity, all manner of cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, paralysis and many other illnesses.

Naturally, I also see people on a regular basis who are dealing with chronic mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar disorder and so forth.

The causes of these conditions are varied and multifaceted. The underlying factor for all of them, however, is that, in the absence of a cure, people want to live the best life they possibly can, regardless of their affliction or disability.

While each person and each condition presents its own set of challenges, there are some unifying principles in helping people who are suffering from chronic illnesses to live better, more meaningful lives.

In my practice, I approach these issues from a therapeutic perspective known as acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT (said as the word, not the acronym). I encourage anyone dealing with similar issues to learn about this approach, as it has been helpful to my clients and countless others.

…Generally, living as rich and meaningful a life as possible when you are struggling with a chronic illness requires a great deal of psychological flexibility.

With chronic illness, rigidity in your thinking and behaviour is the greatest barrier to living well with your illness.

Continue reading “Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap”