Words Hurt Like Sticks and Stones and Loneliness Can Kill You

12.06.12 Marina Galperina

There’s a reason for clichéd emo-metaphors like “she broke my heart,” “he burned me,” and “she stabbed me in the back,” says the New Scientist, compiling several recent studies to show you that shit hurts. Literally.

Rejection and betrayal fire up the same neural pathways activated by bruises and burns. When one begins to feel isolated, there’s a surge in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), which is where you feel that you cut or broke your physical self somewhere.

How’d they learn this? They had some poor chaps lay in an MRI staring at pictures of their exes and then gave them painful shocks of heat. Same stimuli. Same sensitivity. Double burn. Similarly, extroverts have shown a higher tolerance to pain than introverts as well as greater tolerance for social rejection. A study of elderly people has shown that those that are the loneliest were twice as likely to die in the first six years of said study. Wow. Awesome. Very uplifting. Great. Thanks. Gpoy.

Oh, and apparently morphine works on sadness so…

(Image: Marina Galperina)