viernes, 17 de febrero de 2017

Males de amores en la semana del amor.



What is Love Exactly? Let Neurobiology Explain

Valentine’s Day is once again upon us and the subject of love fills the pages of newspapers, magazines, and television screens—all too often by marketers hawking their wares. Who hasn’t seen the ad of the guy who bought his girlfriend a giant teddy bear only to have her cuddling with it instead of him! 

But, I digress. What I want to write about is a story by Tara Parker-Pope that appeared in the Wall Street Journal some time ago, but has remained in my thoughts ever since. Titled, “Is It Love or Mental Illness? They’re Closer Than You Think,” it described an interesting study comparing the brain scans of people who had recently fallen madly in love with another group that had been scorned by the ones they adored. 

The limbic system, nucleus accumbens, and all that jazz 

A system of neurons, called the limbic system, and a group of neurons, called the nucleus accumbens, are the areas of the brain that are responsible for feelings of satisfaction, reward, and pleasure. They communicate with each other using the neurotransmitter dopamine. Unfortunately, the neurons in the nucleus accumbens can take matters too far and initial pleasure can develop into an addiction. Who said there is no such thing as too much of a good thing? 


 What is love (neurobiologically speaking)? 

In the study, Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers university, examined the brain MRIs of both groups of people. When the folks that had recently fallen in love were shown a ‘neutral’ picture of acquaintances or colleagues—nothing much happened (in the MRI scanner, that is). But, when they were shown pictures of the loved one(s), their limbic system and the nucleus accumbens lit up—the same system of neurons associated with pleasure and addiction. 

When the scorned people were shown pictures of their former lovers, their dopamine- mediated neurons lit up, just like the ‘happily in love’ group. But, the amygdala, a system associated with anger and obsessive compulsive behavior, also lit up. Moreover, the prefrontal lobe, the area where all these feeling are supposed to be integrated and controlled, worked overtime. In fact, in some extreme cases the flood of negative feelings from the amygdala overwhelmed the capacity of the prefrontal lobe to exert some calming influence on the emotional storm. This scenario gives a new meaning to the phrase “hell hath no fury…”. (Ver)

Patologías...

  Alexitimia

Incapacidad para percibir sentimientos en uno mismo o en los demás y para poder verbalizarlos. 
La alexitimia (término acuñado por R. Sifneos en 1967, que proviene del griego alexia, incapacidad para leer, y thymos, sentimiento) es característica del paciente psicosomático, en los procesos de adicción y en el trastorno de estrés postraumático. (Más)

Limerencia

(Anglicismo proveniente de “limerence”) es un estado mental involuntario el cual es resultado de una atracción romántica por parte de una persona hacia otra, combinada con una necesidad imperante y obsesiva de ser respondido de la misma forma. (Más)

Filofobia

Fobia a estar enamorado. Este trastorno de ansiedad puede tener un efecto en la vida social y emocional de persona que lo sufre. 
En casos graves, el filofóbico puede no solamente evitar amores potenciales, sino que puede dejar de relacionarse con compañeros de trabajo, vecinos, amigos y familiares. (Más)

Y...consecuente con los tiempos/hábitos actuales...
 
Nomofobia

Los síntomas ansiosos y obsesivos que presentamos cuando nos quedamos sin móvil han sido reconocidos por los psicólogos, y este miedo excesivo e irracional a estar sin smartphone ha sido bautizado como “Nomofobia”. 
El término proviene de la expresión inglesa “no-mobile-phone phobia”. De este síndrome hablaremos hoy, no solo para poner el foco en los aspectos negativos de las nuevas tecnologías, sino también para intentar reflexionar sobre el uso que de ellas hacemos. (Más)
 
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