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Lovesickness | When lost love makes you sick

Lovesickness hurts more than a pinched sciatic nerve, and thoughts of lost happiness are maddening. Anyone who can speak so clearly has the worst behind them. But how, please, do you alleviate the acute heartache that medical professionals call "Broken Heart Syndrome"? In BILD am SONNTAG, experts feel for it.

Is lovesickness a question of age?

Silvia Fauck, Psychological consultant with a lovesick practice in Berlin: “No. I even got a call from an eight-year-old boy who didn't dare to speak to a girl. And a 73 year old woman. The older you get, the greater the loss is often experienced because you think I'll never fall in love again. "

What triggers lovesickness?

Professor Frank Schneider, President of the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (DGPPN): "Every loss of a loved one, be it through a separation or the death of that person, leads to a grief reaction or lovesickness."

Is it true that women suffer more than men after broken relationships?

Silvia Fauck: “No, it only seems that way because men deal with lovesickness differently. Women share more and tell the drama to many, from mothers to hairdressers. For example, men are more likely to rush into work. For them, being abandoned is like defeat, their self-confidence is badly shaken. Women often fall into the role of victims, men feel guilty. "

Which strategies to deal with lovesickness are recommended?

Professor Schneider: “Above all, it is important to regain self-esteem. It can be helpful to talk to friends about the pain of separation. And actively carry on with your life. Do something that is fun or make new contacts. If necessary, it can also be useful to visit a self-help group to exchange ideas with others. "

Which strategies are strongly discouraged?

Professor Schneider: "Doing nothing more, crawling into your snail shell, often increases the depressed mood and thus - in the sense of a vicious circle - also the passivity and social isolation."

Silvia Fauck: “What you should definitely not do is call or spy on your ex-partner or stand in front of his door unannounced. And of course: Instead of dealing with his feelings, numbing them with alcohol, drugs, excessive sport. Or to immediately plunge into sexual adventures "

Are there typical phases in lovesickness?

Professor Schneider: "Yes. There are four phases of separation processing. There is the phase of not wanting to admit the final separation, that of the erupting feelings with anger and despair, that of the reorientation and the phase of the new concept of life. "

How long can lovesickness last?

Silvia Fauck: “Anyone who does not feel any improvement after six weeks, if the initial symptoms such as loss of appetite, poor sleep and concentration problems persist, should seek help. For example, with a doctor or therapist whom you trust. Important: The person who confides in should be neutral and uninvolved. So not the mother or the best friend. "

One is back on the dam after three days, another not after three years. Why do people mourn for different lengths of time?

Professor Schneider: “This certainly has to do with early childhood attachment experiences. They shape our personality. Safe childhood experiences help develop healthy self-esteem, which makes us more stable to deal with later breakups or losses. Insecure experiences can lead to over-adapting, neglecting your own needs and becoming dependent on your partner. The separation from the partner reactivates severe fear of loss from childhood. "

Which is more advisable: Rush into the next relationship immediately or take a break?

Professor Schneider: “There is no general answer to that. In any case, it is important to go through the grief phases and to process the separation. The person concerned should confront and deal with his feelings in order to be able to perceive and accept the loss of the partner. "

When does lovesickness become a health threat?

Professor Schneider: “Losing your partner is a stressful situation. Chronic stress can, for example, weaken the immune system, lead to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, or even cause a severe dysfunction of the heart, the so-called broken heart syndrome. A separation crisis can also trigger serious mental illnesses, such as severe depression or eating disorders. With such pronounced psychological problems, going to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist can be useful. The cost of a possible therapy is usually covered by the health insurance fund. "

What exactly is Broken Heart Syndrome?

Dr. Rainer Schubmann, Head of the Cardiology Department, Dr. Becker Klinik Möhnesee: “The symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack, with chest pain, cardiac arrhythmias, and anxiety. Ultrasound examinations show that the tip of the heart stands still, the heart muscle and the coronary arteries are cramped. But unlike a heart attack, no tissue has died. The cause of this phenomenon are stress hormones that flood the heart and body. Just like when you lose a loved one. That is why one speaks of the broken heart. "

How is a broken heart treated?

Dr. Schubmann: “Like an acute heart attack. The patient is given beta blockers, which protect the heart from other stress hormones. The heart usually has recovered after around six weeks. At the same time, therapy may follow in which the patient can deal with his emotional stress. "