It’s fascinating how sadness and other forms of emotional distress are often accompanied by physical pain. The chest pain of sadness, the abdominal pain of anxiety, the headache of anger.

How are the physical and mental pain connected? Can one literally die of heartbreak or any other devastating loss? How does it all work?


4 responses to “Ache

  1. Harum

    I’m pretty sure that the part of our brain that deals with physical pain also deals with emotional pain. The two aches just naturally go together — I mean, we can’t empirically separate our physique and our emotions, they just naturally go hand-in-hand. And, god, that part is probably the saddest fucking part of our heads. Our poor cerebra, as if life’s not already hard on them. I also read somewhere that people suffering from grief or brokenhearts have, like, a 10 percent higher chance of dying than the regular person in the six months after their heartbreak incident. FUCKED UP, RIGHT?

    • indieschmindie

      I read about something called the ‘broken heart syndrome’, which is often mistaken for a heart attack. Intense, sudden chest pains, fainting. It can be triggered by any kind of overwhelming emotion, not just the death of a spouse/child, but also things like getting a birthday surprise (!).

      Also read about people dying months or even days after the death of a spouse/long-term partner. Can’t decide if it’s sweet or depressing.

  2. “Also read about people dying months or even days after the death of a spouse/long-term partner. Can’t decide if it’s sweet or depressing.”

    I read somewhere, it’s because the other spouse force him/herself to live through his/her pain and sickness for the sake of the other, and when his/her spouse finally is gone, they don’t have to force him/herself anymore and hence, just die.

    BTW, too much anxiety can give you acid reflux and even ulcer, and panic attacks have physical symptoms right. So yes, I think there is a link between our emotions and physical body.

  3. Well, what we feel psychologically is actually physiological; physical reactions working under the brain right? Emotions are felt because our body chemicals are reacting to something; the blood, the hormones are. So yeah, when it’s distressing, it results in physical pain.

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