It’s been said that when you truly love someone, the love never really goes away. Even if they are miles away, or even if they are no longer alive, the love remains. And while this may be true spiritually, the physical symptoms of missing someone you love can be quite real.
Some people may experience physical symptoms such as a headache or stomachache when they are missing someone, while others may not notice any physical effects. It is possible that feeling sad or lonely can affect a person’s physical health, but it is hard to say for certain.
Being in love is a wonderful feeling. You feel insanely happy and truly believe that nothing can go wrong in the world for you. The entire world looks beautiful and perfect.
Unfortunately, love also brings with it pain and suffering. The Cupid’s arrow can strike you in a place where it actually hurts.
When you are in love, you feel like floating in the air, grinning from ear to ear, and your body language has a purpose and conviction.
On the other hand, it can also make you anxious, stressed out, nauseated, or even depressed. Though love is a state of mind and is all about your emotions and feelings, it can influence your physical health either positively or negatively.
The physical effects of euphoria in the early days of the relationship to the physical pain, sluggishness, and discomfort felt at the time of heartbreak. The informal term for it is “lovesick,” though it is often confused with “lovestruck.”
Lovesickness usually is a temporary malady and abates and vanishes on its own. However, in some, this will linger on longer and refuse to die down. If you have lingering lovesickness, you may consider approaching family members or friends or consulting a mental health professional.
How can you identify lovesickness? You can look for its physical manifestations. This blog post will explore some physical symptoms that can occur when you miss someone you care about. We will also discuss ways to cope with these symptoms and find relief from the pain of separation.
7 physical signs and symptoms of missing someone
1. Lovesick bug
Just like the love bug bites you when you fall in love, the lovesick bug takes control over your functioning when you find yourself missing that special someone. The physical symptoms of a lovesick bug bite are obvious.
You find it hard to sleep, but you feel down and out all the time. Appetite is virtually absent, and you find it impossible to get food down your throat. You can’t focus on anything – not work or anything happening around you. You feel irritated by people enjoying themselves and having a fun time. You feel dizzy and lightheaded.
Could it be a fever or a stomach problem? No, you have been bitten by the lovesick bug.
This bug bite has consequences. It will make you sick and unwell. It is not because of any physical ailments. You are displaying the physical symptoms of missing someone you love.
It is ingrained in our genes that we secrete hormones and chemicals to alter our mood and outlook according to how we feel. It is these hormones that make us view the world as beautiful when we fall in love and make us miserable when we miss this person.
The feel-good chemicals include the neurotransmitters like dopamine, phenethylamine, oxytocin, and norepinephrine. Oxytocin is also called the love hormone for nothing. It plays cupid by boosting your happy feelings when you are in love and helps couples bond with each other.
The very same love hormone can also have detrimental effects when the partners are separated and feel the pain of separation. All the physical signs described above, including loss of appetite, difficulty falling asleep, and inability to focus, result from lower levels of oxytocin.
As time passes, your body will get used to the low levels of oxytocin, and its painful effects will subside.
2. Limerence or love addiction
Some couples feel the pain of separation much more than others. It goes much beyond the feeling of lightheadedness and butterflies in the stomach. They may experience difficulty in breathing, severe stomach aches, extended periods of depression, and even heart palpitations.
Those experiencing this condition feel an intense attraction for each other, verging on obsession. They experience an obsessive need for their emotions to be reciprocated. This condition is known as limerence.
The culprit here is the chemical monoamine oxidases. Genetics, too, plays a role here. The level of this chemical in your body makes you more susceptible to addictions. This includes addiction to love as well.
One of the clear physical symptoms of limerence in a person is the tendency to oscillate in a relationship. They fall in love and fall out of it frequently. Due to this, their minds are always in a state of deep turmoil.
3. Heartbreak after a breakup
Whether you continue to love your partner or are bitter about the breakup, you may still feel heartbreak. Your heart will be broken by thoughts of love, unrequited love, or the love you lost.
You may have felt angry and betrayed at the time of the breakup. All the negative feelings associated with a breakup will take a toll on your health. Insomnia, disinterest in life, troubling thoughts, and depression are some of the common physical symptoms.
Moreover, you have been riding high on the love hormones until your relationship hit a roadblock. The absence of these happy hormones will be severely felt by your body. Instead of feeling happy and upbeat, you will slowly begin to show depression symptoms if you do nothing about it. A breakup can be as traumatic and devastating as the loss of a loved one.
It usually takes months or even a year or two to completely get over a breakup. But if you are unable to cope with your daily activities, you should seek help from family members, friends, or in severe cases, from a mental health professional.
4. Broken heart syndrome
Broken heart syndrome may be called a severe case of heartbreak. When the devastating consequence of missing a loved one is so severe and traumatic that it induces a temporary heart condition, it is termed broken heart syndrome.
Typically, the heart ailment is triggered by intense stress and extreme emotions. Those suffering from broken heart syndrome may even feel chest pain and display all heart attack symptoms. Very few actually experience a heart attack.
The medical term for broken heart syndrome is stress-induced cardiomyopathy. In most cases, it merely mimics the symptoms of myocardial infarction or, in other words, heart attack. This includes chest pain, breathlessness, a sense of foreboding, and even heart failure.
Medical professionals believe that releasing stress hormones brings on these palpable symptoms. This reaction of the body may result in the formation of tiny clots in the bloodstream, which can ultimately lead to a heart attack.
5. Postcoital dysphoria
Commonly referred to as post-sex blues, this mental health condition happens as a result of negative feelings and thoughts after a failed sexual activity. After having sex with your partner, if your actual experience did not come anywhere near your expectation, it can lead to a range of undesirable emotions like sadness, anxiety, grumpiness, turmoil, anger, and depression.
Some may even feel unhappy and depressed when the sex is satisfying and pleasurable. For them, the rationale for these emotions may be guilt or shame for their own reasons. As long as they experience negative emotions, even when there is no basis for them, the consequences are the same.
Sex is supposed to trigger the release of happy hormones, resulting in happiness and contentment. For unknown reasons, unidentified even by medical professionals, some people feel the opposite.
Some research statistics suggest that post-sex depression is a real issue, affecting almost one in every three women. Some studies on the subject link people suffering from mood swings to postcoital dysphoria. It is suggested that this is a withdrawal symptom after the surge in oxytocin level at the time of the sexual activity.
6. Contagious depression
We know about infectious diseases, and we never knew that depression is one of them. Is depression contagious?
In the real sense of the term “contagious” or “infectious,” it is not. But depression symptoms can be passed on from one person to another when the circumstances are right for this.
Have you ever felt low or sad in the company of a grumpy and unhappy person? That is what is meant here by contagious.
In an intimate relationship in which the partners are closely attached to each other, the emotions felt by one are mirrored by the other. As negative emotions always tend to override positive ones, the sadness and depression of one partner prevail over the happy emotions of the other partner.
Seeking help at the right time is the only way out of this situation. Family members can play a role in the recovery.
7. Stress-induced hypertension
The relationship witnessing wild oscillations in love and affection can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. When your mind is swinging between “love him” and “love him not,” the real victim might be your blood pressure.
Studies have indicated that the company of people you feel mixed emotions about is worse for your health and wellbeing than the company of people you dislike or hate. Of course, it is always better to stay in the company of people you love and who love you. But some may not have the luxury of choosing the company they are with.
It is believed that the harmful effects of mixed emotions stem from their unpredictable nature. You have no clue or control over what kind of emotions you will feel. This can make the stress levels shoot up, with a tumbling effect on your blood pressure level.
Stress triggers muscles in the body to tense up, including those in the arteries and the limbs. This can hamper the regular flow of blood in the blood vessels, resulting in higher blood pressure.
Why does it physically hurt to miss someone?
Many studies have validated the fact that the effect of love on the brain is similar to that of addictive stimulant drugs like cocaine. The hurt that is felt when separated from a loved one is similar to the withdrawal symptoms of a drug addict. Your love for your partner may turn into a craving over time and may affect your normal functionality.
While love addiction affects only a few, love obsession is a more common problem among couples in a relationship. When a person becomes obsessed with their partner, separation can be devastating for them. That too will turn into an obsession for such a person. Some studies have identified a combination of social, biological, and behavioral factors responsible for this.
We know from our own experience that some individuals are prone to obsessive thinking. They think and rethink the same thing again and again, unable to get out of the vicious circle of thoughts. Such people are the ones most affected when they go through separation and miss their partners.
In case you are suffering from obsessive thoughts about your partner and find it hard to move on in life without them, you should seek help. Family members and friends can help here.
Sometimes when you miss someone who has passed away, the longing you feel for their presence is complicated by bereavement and grief. In severe cases, this can result in a mental condition called complicated grief.
Ways to Cope With Missing Someone
When you miss your partner, your happy hormone levels drop drastically. When the levels of oxytocin and dopamine decline, it will be felt deeply.
The instant remedy to raise these hormone levels is the presence of your loved one that you are missing in the first place. Physical touch and emotional connection can spike up the levels of oxytocin instantly.
If this is not an option, you may try to raise the hormonal levels using alternate methods. Such as cuddling with pets or close physical contact like hugging others you love and care about. Getting a massage is also a good way to feel happy and increase the secretion of happy hormones. Self-touch is another option for you to explore.
Other natural methods to trigger the release of oxytocin and dopamine are yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and grounding exercises.
We consider missing the partner in a long-distance relationship justifiable but feeling the same way about a partner you saw five minutes ago isn’t. However, experts beg to differ. They consider both instances normal. It all depends on how quickly the withdrawal symptoms appear in you.
There is nothing wrong with missing your partner as long as you feel it in a healthy way and the feeling stays within healthy limits.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these physical symptoms, it may be a sign that you’re missing someone important in your life. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to combat these feelings, such as staying busy, talking to friends and family, and spending time in nature. So if you’re feeling down or sad, don’t hesitate to reach out for support.