(Telegraph) How to get over a broken heart: take two aspirin and stop talking
By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent 12:01AM BST 25 Sep 2014
Psychology Professor Water Mischel, of Columbia University, believes that talking about break-ups with friends only makes the situation worse and suggests painkillers and less brooding
It was once thought that only time could mend a broken heart, but now scientists think popping a couple of aspirin might be the best way to get over a break-up.
Psychology Professor Water Mischel, of Columbia University, believes that the psychological pain of ending a relationship is similar to physical pain, and should be treated like any other injury.
He also believes that discussing feelings with friends will only increase depression and advises keeping brooding to a minimum.
“When we speak about rejection experiences in terms of physical pain, it is not just a metaphor – the broken heart and emotional pain really do hurt in a physical way,” he said.
“When you look at a picture of the one who broke your heart, you experience a pain in a similar area of the brain which is activated when you burn your arm.
“‘Take two aspirins and call me in the morning’ would be a cold-hearted response to a friend’s late-night report of fresh heartbreak, but it has a solid basis in the research.”
Previous studies have shown that people experience feelings of romantic rejection in the same way that they experience physical pain.
Research subjects given a simple non-prescription painkiller, like aspirin or ibuprofen, were shown to handle feelings of rejection better than those given a placebo.