Love. Small word but a huge concept. For centuries this word has been inspected, written about, and researched all around the world. Teenage love is probably one of the purest forms of love known to humankind; careless rides around the town, butterflies in the stomach, sneaking out at night - seems exciting, huh? This childish drive first relationships often don’t end in “happily ever after”. Then, in a fraction of a moment, the world is crushed to our feet and the idea of love seems to be ruined forever. We start looking for coping mechanisms to deal with the pain, overthinking the situation, and all the ways we could prevent this from happening. The ongoing cycle of terrible heartbreak begins, just to put us back to our feet again.
Artwork by Irinka Iashvili
Ever wondered if love is just poetry, far away from reality? Well, for the naked eye, love is just another concept poets write about, and being heartbroken is not the end of the world, but changes in our body that occur during this process contradict the aforementioned. To find out more, I interviewed one of the biology teachers at GZAAT - Malkhaz Makashvili.
(I)-interviewer, (M)-Malkhaz Makashvili
(I)-Hello, Mr. Malkhaz, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Are there any changes in the human body whenever a person is in love? After a heartbreak?
(M)-Hello, Anastasia! Being in love, as well as heartbreak, both are stressors for organisms. The word “stressor” does not mean negative agent, but rather any stimulus (external or internal) which generates specific changes in the body. The brain responds to the stressor by so-called “Fight or flight reaction” (FFR) - changing the action of the nervous and endocrine system. Hormones released during FFR are so-called catecholamines. They are released from the adrenal gland. FFR is directed to adaptation to the stressor to keep the body in balance.
(I)-Can a heartbreak grow into some medical condition?
(M)-Long-lasting FFR, for example. Long-lasting grief after heartbreak may lead to undesirable changes, such as physical exhaustion, depression, social isolation. Treatment, in this case, depends on the severity of symptoms and may vary from medication to psychological aid.
(I)-Is heartbreak different for adults and teenagers biologically?
(M)-Teenagers and adults have different experiences in being in love and their understanding of what it means is different as well. Kids and adults differ in their reactions to heartbreak, separation from a partner, and divorce.
(I)- Can the effects of love be compared to drugs or medication?
(M)-The effect of love is comparable to the action of some drugs, which can generate positive emotions. However, love is not only emotion but a serious complex of feelings and conscious and long-lasting connection to the subject of love.
Regardless of age, heartbreak is something all of us experience. From losing the loved one to crying after a romantic movie you just watched, sadness is not something you should hide. Bringing awareness to this feeling and normalizing it is one of the effective ways to prevent heartbreak from becoming a serious issue. After all, relationships end, people come and go, the best you can do is to breathe and restart. Now grab some ice cream and turn on your favorite rom-com. Maybe they weren’t even worth it anyway. :)
Edited by Mariam Begiashvili