Emotional withdrawal syndrome (or love): what it is and how to overcome it

After a breakup, and especially in the first few days and weeks after a farewell, we can experience very intense feelings which can often affect our ability to be objective and rational. Pain, sadness, anxiety, inability to concentrate and would like to contact our ex-partner they can lead us to situations of vulnerability, in which it is possible to get carried away by impulses or cramps which we may regret a posteriori.

Ending a relationship and letting go of the person we dreamed of is complicated, and even if we are convinced that we have done the right thing by walking away, there may be times when we feel weak and let our emotions dominate us. In fact, psychologists say that falling in love activates the same regions of the brain as in drug use, which leads some individuals to experiencing emotional or romantic abstinence syndrome when they have to break up with their partner. This not only causes psychological pain, but can lead the affected person to suffer from physical symptoms as well.

In the following lines we will talk about this phenomenon and deepen its characteristics.

Chemistry in the Lover’s Brain

Anyone who has experienced falling in love knows that it is without a doubt one of the best experiences we can have. But there is also the other side of the coin: it is the lack of love. A difficult situation to overcome, which can lead us to an existential crisis if we don’t know how to handle it properly.

And it is that the lack of love leads us to live really painful moments, because the brain chemistry of the lover can make us addicted to our ex, Direct all our senses towards this person and make our daily life an attempt to move forward and regain our well-being even if we want to blend in the arms of our loved one.

    When we have the “monkey” for someone

    The chemistry of love can make us live in a cloud, but when we don’t have the chance to be with the person we want, we can feel the “monkey” like it’s a drug.

    When we fall in love, our brains secrete substances such as serotonin (linked to happiness), endorphins (hormones associated with the feeling of pleasure), adrenaline (makes us energetic) and dopamine, which has an important function in the survival of the human being, by causing the repetition of these behaviors essential to the permanence of the species. For example, food or sex. But he is also involved in addictive behavior, Such as drug use or gambling.

    In this regard, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, after an investigation, stated that “when love breaks down, just like when someone stops taking medication, side effects such as depressive behavior or disorders obsessive-compulsive, and even withdrawal syndrome, whether emotional or due to drug addiction, causes psychological and physical symptoms as it affects our nervous system. “

      Symptoms of emotional abstinence syndrome

      Emotional abstinence syndrome occurs when we have to stop seeing the person we are in love with, on our own or someone else’s. And in situations where there may be conflict, like toxic relationships, infidelities, etc. its symptomatology may increase. Fortunately, some people are aware that these symptoms are transient, and over time it is possible to regain emotional balance once the neural circuits weaken.

      however, some people are unable to cope with emotional pain, Having low self-esteem or not having the tools to overcome this stage. Suddenly, they become attached to the couple: they are unable to overcome the addiction. In these cases, it is necessary to undergo psychological therapy.

      The symptoms experienced by a person with emotional withdrawal syndrome are:

      Psychological symptoms:

      • Anxiety and anxiety.
      • Sadness and melancholy.
      • Desire to be with the loved one, to call and contact him.
      • Superb and lack of focus
      • Insomnia.

      • Loss of appetite.
      • obsessive thoughts.
      • Feeling of disaffection with life.
      • Inability to enjoy daily activities.

      physical symptoms

      • Dizziness.
      • Nausea.
      • Headache.
      • Chest tightness.
      • Vomiting.

      The duration of the withdrawal syndrome varies from person to person and in many cases it can be a brief experience, which disappears as the situation is accepted. However, since the lack of love is not a linear process, it may happen that the affected person suffers from this syndrome frequently, because they are unable to cope with the situation or because they continue to be in pain. contact with the person she loves despite the breakup.

      What to do to overcome emotional withdrawal syndrome

      To overcome withdrawal syndrome and, in general, lack of love, it is possible to follow some of these strategies.

      1. Recognize the symptoms and know they are transient

      Emotional abstinence syndrome peaks in the short period of time of breaking up (the first month is usually the hardest) but over time it can be overcome. For that, it is important to recognize that we are going through this phase of lack of love (Which is transient) So try to control this very real and painful physical and emotional experience.

      2. Contact 0

      When you are in a situation of leaving a relationship, continuing to have contact with the partner (with the hope that things could be fixed) is counterproductive. It just shows that there is emotional addiction and prolongs the pain if the real intention is to be happy again and to be well after a relationship that didn’t work out.

      For this reason psychologists recommend contact 0, that is to say “all or nothing”As with drug addiction, seeing the loved one and having contact with him promotes relapses. If we follow the logic of classical conditioning, exposure to the loved one reactivates the neural circuit involved in falling in love, so if we are to weaken it and regain emotional stability, we have to be strong and sever all kind of contact. with the person.

      In addition, if the sensation is very intense, it is even recommended to avoid any contact via social networks, because these cause certain phenomena such as the FOMO syndrome which they increase obsession and suffering after a breakup.

      3. Distract

      One of the big mistakes that can be made in this phase is giving way to obsession and intrusive thoughts, which are usually common: memories and recollections appear again and again in our minds. This is why it is important to look for activities that cause us to be distracted. Spending time with friends, studying or going to the gym works really well.

      4. Struggle for personal development

      When we leave it to our partner, the cost of our self-esteem is high. Therefore, we have to connect with ourselves and do those things we love. Things that make us grow as people and that we appreciate. Maybe study this master’s degree that motivates us so much or sign up for dance lessons. We know what makes him really happy and makes his life busy.

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