Love is the greatest thing in the world. So it’s no wonder that a breakup can feel like the exact opposite of that. But what really happens when you cut ties with a loved one? Neuroscientist Dr. Lucy Brown did an experiment to find out:
Brown found that a photo of an ex activated the same brain regions that are stimulated when someone’s going through cocaine withdrawal. In other words, she concluded, love is a drug and it’s really hard to quit. When a relationship is over, there’s still a part of the brain that keeps love alive.
“When we look at the picture of the person [we broke up with], there’s pain, but the main thing is you’re still in love with them. That’s really at a non-verbal level of the brain,” said Brown.
So when you find yourself self-medicating with a pint of chocolate-chocolate chip, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re experiencing something very physical and very real. Love is no joke.
You can learn more about the experiment in the video below.