A broken hearted brain really hurts.

my heart really hurts

held in 2018General lecture "What is pain? -The abyss of the world-"". Part of that brochure is reproduced below.

"Not the affected areapatientIn the field where the stance is to "examine", it is half common knowledge that "pain and emotion are two sides of the same coin and affect each other."

fact"When subjects were shown a photograph of their ex-lover, not only the areas of their brains associated with chronic pain, but also the areas that capture traumatic pain were activated.” has been reported, and the follow-up (tailwind) by cognitive science knows no bounds.

Continuation of the above pamphlet ↓↓↓

In 2022, four years after the lecture was held, Japan's public broadcaster (NHK) introduced the source (overseas paper) at the beginning of the above pamphlet (→Humanience "Pain" is the origin of the mind.(See Section 2.1.2.).

The contents of the experiment introduced in the program are as follows.

At the University of Michigan in the United States, 40 men and women who had been dumped by their lover over the past six months were gathered, and they were first given pain by heat stimulation, and their brain reactions at that time were investigated.

Next, they were shown a picture of their ex-lover and examined their brain's reaction to the picture. Surprisingly, the same area as when the pain was applied was activated (see figure below).

NHK『Humanience "'Pain' is the origin of the mind"] Processed some images

There are various possible interpretations of this result. One is that "mental pain and physical pain are essentially the same on the brain dimension." The expression that we use every day, "my heart hurts, my heart hurts," is by no means a metaphor.

Of course, there is no real pain sensation in the mind, but that is only because consciousness is not a tangible substance, that is, there are no sensory receptors that input physical stimuli. It definitely exists as a texture that can be captured by.

Because we instinctively perceive such things, we often use idioms that compare to physical existence, such as "my heart breaks / my heart dances / my heart moves / my heart sinks". I think there are.

relationship between pain and emotion

As I mentioned at the beginning, our association has long reported that pain is inseparable from emotions, that there is pain that is voluntarily generated by the brain regardless of whether there is an injury, and that such pain is surprisingly common. rice field.

And we are formulating a new classification and definition of pain that has never existed before.“If the source of emotions (emotions) born in the unconscious does not rise smoothly to consciousness, some of them will appear as pain. These pains are called soft pains.”

The pink up arrow is the soft pane
(Self-reciprocity is a psychological state in which an individual's thoughts are twisted, such as "I really want to do it, but I have to do it this way.")

However, there are people in the world who are not good at releasing their emotions well. Also, even if you are not good at it, there may be situations where emotional release is not allowed under certain conditions.

Each person has different backgrounds, and when we have to give priority to reason, if this continues for a long time, in other words, if we continue to suppress our own emotions, the emotions that have lost their way will change shape and rise to our consciousness. This is the soft pane.

While soft pain is a sensation that is generated by the brain regardless of the physical dimension, pain due to trauma or inflammation in the body, that is, pain that informs tissue damage, is called hard pain.

When discussing the "experiment of heartbreak and pain" mentioned above, our association holds the interpretation that "hard pain is also affected by emotions."

In fact, there are individual differences in the pain of trauma, and even if the injury is the same in the same place, the way pain is felt varies from person to person. This is because even hard pain is subject to emotional modification and changes in quality.

In connection with the previous experiment, when we conducted an experiment comparing ``people who have just had a broken heart'' and ``people who are in love'' when pain due to heat stimulation was added, the broken hearts felt stronger pain. may feel.

This is because the results of previous experiments show that areas of the brain associated with pain are more likely to be activated after a broken heart.

individual differences in pain

As explained so far, it is known that "all pain is accompanied by individual differences" due to the intertwining of complex factors such as individual sensitivity, memory and experience.

In the previous experiment, the brains of 40 men and women were examined, but the image of the brain shown above only shows the average value of 40 people, and in fact 40 people did not show exactly the same reaction. It showed that there was a commonality in the active areas, and strictly speaking, there were individual differences in the subtle differences in the areas and the intensity of the activity levels.

Regardless of the presence or absence of trauma, regardless of the presence or absence of inflammation, whether it is hard pain or soft pain, there is a latent dimension of rigorous individual differences. As shown in the image below, even if the pain is caused by the same stimulus, the brain responds in a wide variety of ways, and it varies from person to person.

NHK『Humanience "'Pain' is the origin of the mind"] Processed some images

However, modern medicine has a strong tendency to underestimate or ignore this dimension of individual differences, and such a viewpoint is not shared in many medical settings.

In Japan, this trend is particularly noticeable in the field of locomotor organs, and only the changes in the images displayed on X-rays and MRIs are taken as the absolute axis (This medical philosophy is called "absolute medicine."(See Section 2.1.2.).

 そのため、骨の変形があっても痛みのない人、軟骨が擦り減っていても痛みのない人、ヘルニアがあっても痛みのない人、脊柱管狭窄があっても痛みのない人たちが大勢いるという事実(EBMにおける世界の常識)は、日本ではまったく顧みられることがありません(→EBMについてはthis pageをご参照ください)。

And many patients are led to believe the results of X-rays and MRIs and take excessive risks in treatment. We are forced to make dangerous trade-offs.

In order to improve well-being, we believe that all healthcare needs to have the perspective of "integrating the brain, mind, and body."

In order to put this into practice, it is extremely important to have a stance on how to identify individual differences and how to provide an approach that suits each individual patient.こうした医療哲学を“相対医学”と言います(See Section 2.1.2.).

In mind-body integrative therapy, based on the dimension of individual differences in pain, we pursue a style that finds the optimal solution for each case, in other words, tailor-made medicine that assumes individual differences.

Digression ~broken heart insurance~

Now, from here on it's a sideshow story, but considering that the brain that has a broken heart reacts as if it was injured, even though it is a phenomenon in the brain, the metaphor of "a broken heart is an injury to the heart" It crosses my mind.

Some people who have been involved in a traffic accident and suffered whiplash injuries may feel embarrassed, and in some cases, may even feel angry at the perpetrator. However, most people do not resort to violent retaliation against their perpetrators.

Such incidents may not be zero, just because they are not reported in newspapers or on TV, but I think that such cases are generally not recognized.

When I think about the reason for this, the first thing that comes to mind is the insurance system, which guarantees the care of victims in the case of traffic accidents. The non-life insurance company will take care of everything from medical expenses, compensation for absence from work, to transportation expenses for hospital visits. Of course, we pay insurance premiums such as compulsory automobile liability insurance in order to receive such generous follow-up.

On the flip side, what about broken hearts? There is damage insurance for traffic accidents, but I have never heard of broken heart insurance. Whiplash and heartbreak are equally traumatic at the brain level, but the former are protected by social institutions while the latter are not.

Even with the same broken heart, I think that the depth of damage is completely different between "I'm sorry" after applying for a relationship and "I'm dumped at the end of a long-term relationship and I'm conscious of marriage". Even so, even though I was injured in the brain dimension, there is no social compensation.

BReIN“Just like there is disability insurance for physical injuries, it’s okay to have disability insurance for mental injuries…!?”

When I saw the report of the tragic stalking incident, I had a strange delusion.

↓↓↓ Delusion (has nothing to do with our activities) ↓↓↓

“Broken hearts have the power to destroy the human brain. People who become stalkers are thought to have inherent dangerous psychological traits as the main factor, but there are also cases of brain damage close to PTSD.

What if there was a system called broken heart insurance within the framework of the social system?

Perhaps the reason why people who have been whiplash do not express their anger at the perpetrator is that they can receive financial compensation, including medical treatment. Of course, this is not all, but the possibility that such a background influences unconsciously cannot be denied.

If that's the case, wouldn't the number of stalking incidents decrease if there was a system in which people who lost love could receive the same compensation as those in traffic accidents?

For those who have broken heart insurance, if you submit some documents that can prove the situation, the insurance company will pay medical expenses related to brain care (mental care), and depending on the details, it will be certified as depression or anxiety. It is also possible to obtain disability certification, and you can also receive compensation for absence from work.

In such a world, people who have brain damage from broken hearts and who have dangerous personality tendencies may be less likely to act like stalkers.

At the same time, it may lead to the recovery of the birth rate, which is an urgent issue for Japan. If there are a certain number of young people who have a mentality that is afraid of romance, then isn't it necessary to take the perspective of preparing a romantic environment?

Investing in a child-rearing environment is of course important, but if there is no love before that, children will not be born. That's why it's important to take measures to reduce the number of people who are timid about love. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to create an environment where young people can enjoy their youth and feel safe in love?

Broken heart insurance may sound like a joke at first glance, but if you don't have the energy to try anything that has even the slightest possibility, even if it's a strange idea like this or something that seems too unique. , it is difficult to stop Japan's population decline!
The first thing that Japan, whose economic power is declining remarkably, should do is eliminate the distortion caused by the declining birthrate and aging population. to increase the birth rate. As one of the countermeasures, the idea of broken heart insurance, although unrealistic, might be a little interesting...!?

For reference, the rate of unmarried Japanese throughout their lives was 5% or less until the Showa period, but since the beginning of the Heisei period (starting in 1990), it has continued to increase rapidly. %, female 17.8%" (unknown supplemented value).

This upward trend in the unmarried rate is more pronounced in urban areas than in rural areas. For example, in Tokyo, one in three men and one in four women are never married in their lifetime.

In addition, in a survey on romance, about half of single people aged 18 to 34 answered that they "do not want to be in a relationship."

It is said that countries that do not stop the population decline will disappear in hundreds to thousands of years.

It may seem like an exaggeration, but some influencers are aware that Japan is actually facing a crisis of survival.

When choosing political parties and members of parliament, policies against population decline may also need to be taken into account.

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