8 Crazy Ways a Breakup Impacts Your Body
They say “love hurts” – but what does that really mean, beyond the obvious? We’ve dug deep on this one to get some insight into the science behind a broken heart. Like an earthquake, heartache comes with a multitude of aftershocks, and you wouldn’t believe the toll it can have on both your body and mind. Here are just eight physical and mental side-effects of a broken heart.
Loss of sleepThis one may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more going on behind the scenes than you think. Insomnia, or disturbed sleep patterns are a common consequence of anxiety. A credit to heightened cortisol levels, the relationship between sleep and minimizing stress is such that you can’t hope to achieve one without the other. The more stress you have, the less sleep you’re likely to be getting – and when facing the day with a mind that hasn’t gotten the rest it needs, you become a prime candidate for added anxiety.
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Weight loss/gainsAside from losing precious beauty sleep, odds are you’ve lost touch with your usual sense of appetite. Whether you find yourself revolted at the thought of consuming anything, or blindly reaching into the fridge in the dead of night for anything and everything that might be considered edible; it’s a safe bet you’re eating out of your usual patterns. Pair this dramatic shift in behaviours with a lack of sleep and you can bet your energy levels will be at an all-time low.
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Breakups = breakoutsNo sleep, heightened stress levels and changes to your diet are all major contributors to bad skin. Your hormones have gone out of whack, your skin is likely dehydrated and dulled from a lack of sleep and to top that off, the junk food you’re indulging in is packed with salts and sugars that spell doom for a clear complexion.
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DepressionIt should come as no surprise that, alongside the dramatic changes to your regular routine, your mind has taken a slide as well. A bad breakup (say, suddenly learning all of the secrets your cheating spouse was keeping from you) can leave you feeling all kinds of ways, all at once – and that can be overwhelming, to say the least. Turning inward and isolating oneself in a time where you likely need support and cheering up is the worst thing you can do. Depression comes in all forms and sizes – and more people than you might imagine have been affected by it at some point in their lives.
*If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, please call the Mental Health Helpline, open 24/7 at 1-866-531-2600
Thinning hairAs if the lack of sleep and breakouts weren’t enough, you’ll find that all of the post-breakup stress may also cause your hair to begin falling out. A clogged drain may not seem like the end of the world, but this kind of a physical side effect can add to a diminishing sense of self-confidence and consequently, work to wreak havoc on your emotional well-being.
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Broken heart syndromeExcess stress seems to be the common thread here, and the catalyst for most of the more unpleasant – and severe – post-breakup issues. We were shocked to discover that something called “Broken Heart Syndrome” is a real thing and, aptly named, relates to the stress-induced temporary enlargement of the heart. Predominantly affecting women, this disorder is thankfully rare, accounting for a very small percentage of heart-related issues.
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Spikes in blood pressureAll that added stress can result in high blood pressure; and in turn trigger headaches and restricted breathing patterns.
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Mood swingsBeyond the physical aspects of a breakup, there is no doubt that a broken heart will also take a toll on you emotionally. Trying to keep your life in check while feeling like everything is falling out of whack can be difficult, and the added pressure of trying to keep up appearances doesn’t help. You may find yourself feeling extra sensitive to comments from others, and bouncing between emotional extremes as you work to regain your physical – and emotional – footing during this stressful time.
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