Addicted to Love

Breaking up is hard to do. Literally. A brain study out of Rutgers shows getting over romantic rejection is similar to kicking an addiction. One of the study authors says, "When you've been rejected in love, you have lost life's greatest prize, which is a mating partner." Researchers examined the brains of more than dozen volunteers who had each recently been dumped but still loved the person who had rejected them. It turned out reminders of the beloved activated brain regions in the lover associated with addiction to cocaine and cigarettes. These same areas affect emotional control, rewards, addiction cravings, a sense of attachment, pain and distress. This brain system becomes activated in an attempt to win the person's affections again, according to the researchers. Details are in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Perhaps the lesson here is that it's important to become addicted to someone who is good for you.

Stephen Goforth