Friday, October 7, 2022

Relationship Rupture and the Limbic System

 From The Marginalian:

Behaviorally and psychologically, the despair phase begins when fretfulness, which can manifest as anxiety in humans, collapses into lethargy — a condition that often accompanies depression. But abrupt and prolonged separation produces something much more than psychological havoc — it unleashes a full-system somatic shock. Various studies have demonstrated that cardiovascular function, hormone levels, and immune response are all disrupted. Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon capture the result unambiguously:
Relationship rupture is a severe bodily strain… Prolonged separation affects more than feelings. A number of somatic parameters go haywire in despair. Because separation deranges the body, losing relationships can cause physical illness.
But harrowing as this reality of intimacy and its ruptures may be, it also intimates something wonderfully assuring in its mirror-image — just like painful relationships can so dysregulate us, healthy relationships can regulate us and recalibrate our limbic system, forged in our earliest attachments.

The solution to the eternal riddle of trust emerges as both banal and profound — simply the practice of continually refining our discernment about character and cultivating intimate relationships of the kind life’s hard edges cannot rupture, with people who are the human equivalent not of poison but of medicine, and endeavoring to become such people ourselves for the emotional ecosystems of those we love. (Read more.)


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