Missing someone you love can be an overwhelming feeling. This feeling can drive someone to obsession, depression, or suicidal thoughts. But most people will not be with one person all the time, and have many times when they’re temporarily apart. So why does being apart from your loved one for an extended time drive some people to the point of insanity?
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When you’re with a loved one, a hormone is released called oxytocin. This hormone is often called the bonding drug. This is because it is released at times of physical intimateness, i.e. hugs, cuddles, kisses, and sex. At the time the body releases oxytocin, it also releases other hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine, “the feel good drug” tells your body to keep one doing this for the same reward. To keep on being with this person that makes you feel this way. Serotonin gives affects mood, putting one in a state of content happiness.
But what happens when these hormones vanish?
Decreased serotonin can cause mood swings to range from being content to an all time low. This feeling of perpetual unhappiness at times can drive someone into the obsession of the absent loved one. They will feel as if they were only happy and will only be happy with this person present. But that is not true. The longer this feeling continues, it can further into suicidal thoughts, thinking that there is no way in life they will ever be happy.
The decreased or disappearance of dopamine causes a lack of motivation or interest, allowing one is fall into a depression. This will only worsen the feelings of loneliness and perpetual unhappiness caused by decreased serotonin levels.
The last of the triad of misery is the lack of oxytocin. Lacking this hormone will cause one to disconnect from human interaction. This will only feed the depression and loneliness experienced.
These are all unhealthy ways that someone copes with missing someone. These are usually seen in those people coping with a break-up or death of a loved one. These feelings of missing this person is only amplified because hope has ceased that person’s mind. Knowing that the longing for their loved one will never be fulfilled sends people further into depression.
However, there are healthy ways to miss someone.
Occupying yourself with things to do will help push someone out of your mind until some time has passed. Because it is true, time does heal all wounds. Because as time goes on, we forget painful details and only remember the diluted synopsis of what happened.
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Being around other friends and family is a huge step in healthy coping. This allows some to continue producing oxytocin even at small levels. Having human interaction is probably the most important part in coping with a loss of a loved one.
Listening to uplifting music can also help. Singing releases endorphins, which is another feel happy hormone. So instead serotonin, one can achieve being content in this method. It also helps by encouraging self-validation through the song’s lyrics.
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Personally, I always live with someone. Whether it is my roommates or my long-term boyfriend, I am never physically alone. Recently, I had the chance to be truly by myself for four days. But I did not feel alone. This is in part to reaching out to other friends, and going out doing fun things. Such as going to the beach or the zoo. It’s really okay to do these things by yourself. And you may even find out things about yourself you didn’t know.
Whether you are missing someone temporarily or possibly indefinitely… just know that it gets better