Monday, April 11, 2011

Emotional pain can cause real pain, says study

Broken Heart
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You've broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, your wife or husband has left you and you feel rejected, dejected, broken-hearted. Well, new research suggests that intense feelings of rejection are as hurtful as physical pain. 

The lead author of the study, Ethan Kross, said the reason is because the same regions of the brain that become active in response to painful sensory experiences are also activated during intense experiences of social rejection.

The researchers hope their findings will offer new insight into how the experience of intense social loss may lead to various physical pain symptoms and disorders.

They also confirmed the notion that people from different cultures all around the world use the same language, words like 'hurt' and 'pain', to describe the experience of both physical pain and social rejection.

James Cowling, BBC News

Vocabulary Words: Read the word/s, meaning and the sample sentence. Try making your own sentence afterwards.

1. broken up with (v.): ended your relationship with
  • He has broken up with me.
2. dejected (adj. or v.): fed up or depressed
  • The guy feels dejected because his girlfriend is seeing another guy.
3. hurtful (adj.): upsetting in a personal way
  • Her hurtful words affected my way of delivering the speech.
4. sensory (adj.): experienced by the physical senses (e.g. sight, hearing, touch, smell)
  • Eating a spicy taco is a full sensory experience.
5. findings (n.): discoveries
  • Africa is an area rich in archaeological findings.
6. insight (n.): revealing explanations
  • The student has a lot of brilliant insights.
    7. symptoms (n.): signs from the body, which suggest something is wrong
    • The child shows symptoms of autism.
    8. disorders (n.): health problems affecting the body
    • I do not have disorders, I'm healthy!
    9. notion (n.): idea or suggestion
    • People have the notion that white is beautiful.
    Comprehension Check: Read and answer the questions based on the article.
    1. Is physical pain as hurtful as emotional pain? Why?
    2. Will the findings help further discoveries? In what way?

    Agree or Disagree: Explain your answer.
    1. Emotional pain is better than physical pain.
    2. Heartbreak is a serious problem.
    3. I'm very concerned about my health.

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