U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 04-30-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,838 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27642

Advertisements

"So being in love is like being hooked up to a perpetual dopamine drip..."

https://www.vox.com/science-and-heal...ychology-brain

The above article "This is what love does to your brain" in VOX can help explain part of what goes on when a mate dies. There are other inferences one can make from the article, and it does not explicitly go into the loss of a mate, but it does give insight. Please read the article in its entirety before proceeding. I'm using the show/hide simply to keep you from being tempted to read on before reading the article.

Spoiler
Now that you have read the article, it is important to understand that it describes a model of how the brain functions. Models and theories are subject to change, and no model can ever be a full recreation of the reality. Reducing love to a chemical response would be overly simplistic at best, something Fisher attempts to explain.

Now to do some extrapolating and hypothesizing on the article:

First, that data that men are 2.5 times more likely to commit suicide after the death of a spouse stands out. While every situation is different, that figure speaks to the intensity that some men experience within a marriage or mating. The fact that it is so statistically different puts it beyond random chance. I've seen and experienced emotional flooding, and I think it is too pat an answer to the difference in suicide rates. I also note that there is no reference on the data, and I anticipate that it was gathered within Western societies and makes no claim to validity except within Western culture. For instance; in India the culture expected the wife to suttee upon death of the husband. Our culture is a part of us and our psyche, like it or not.

Now on to the whole "dopamine drip" and addiction concept. Some people may have a tendency to dismiss the whole idea, but as a MODEL it not only deserves inspection but to act as a source of introspection. I'll reduce it to bare bones and ignore other factors so that I can better understand the basics. Follow along.

With addictions such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, etc. the withdrawal can be a time of agony as the body struggles to normalize dopamine and other chemicals. The possibility of relapse actually helps some people cope, as they know that in a worst case scenario there can be a relief by returning to the addiction.

When a spouse dies, there is NO returning to that source of "dopamine drip." The flow from that source is turned off. The greater the dopamine flow while the spouse was alive, (in general) the greater the difference between then and after the spouse's death.

I note in the article that the guide to a happy relationship is "express empathy, control your own emotions, and overlook the negatives of your partner and focus on the positives."

When you are attempting to give support to someone who has lost a spouse, what is it that many people do naturally? "express empathy, control their emotions, and overlook the negatives of the survivor of the relationship and focus on the positives."

The idea of being accepted for who we are, warts and all, is the food of love. Compassion is the feeding of love. You can reduce it to biochemistry or not, but the model works.


Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-30-2018, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,428 posts, read 2,252,516 times
Reputation: 1826
Great interesting article. Sure makes sense. I like the dopamine drip concept. I remember my husband saying over and over. "It is a good thing he was the sick one as he would not have a clue how to take care of me if I were sick or himself if I were gone. He said you always are doing so much around here. Things I never consider I would be lost." And yet when I had psoriasis so bad for three years I could barely walk or use my hands he did a lot to help me to keep this place going and we both over looked the rest until I was able to do it again. So we do what we have to do be it male of female.

I do think men are or could be more lost being the one that is left behind. I have a neighbor that just lost his wife after I think he said 58 years. I worry for him. He is not feeble or anything like that but the loss is so great. It was always women do the woman things men do the men things in our house. Not that my hubby was against doing house work or woman things. He just left it all up to me. Fair trade in my book as I am not at all of fan of changing the oil in the mower or Ranger or airing the tires and all that stuff. WE did work together often so I learned how to do some stuff many do not know how to do. I remember moving into him house after he had lived there aloe about 6 months and it was not in good shape. not horrible lets just say dust never mattered to him. LOL And of course I did overlook many of what I considered faults of his as I am sure he did mine.

It also puts more?? behind my thoughts of just staying alone from now on. I think it would be fun to have some one to go do things with. Not sure what things just something entertaining. But even slight interactions could bring on this falling in love and I just do not want to be the little wife again. I was a good wife hubby always told me over and over how much he appreciated me. But I see now I put so much into being the perfect little wife I lost myself along the way. As a wife we cook and clean and do laundry and the yard work and painting and countless other chores even when we do not want to. Our days never end. Sometimes I can not be bothered to cook myself dinner. I will eat a hard boiled egg or piece of cheese or scrambled egg and call it good. Just enough to feed me. I do not ever care what it is. If I were in a relationship again I would have to go back to doing things all the time even if I did not want to. God forbid having to plan meals. I sent most of my kitchen stuff away I am done with it. Some days I just want to work on my mosaics or just sew and over look the dust. Or read a book or just sit in the sun. And instead of having to keep doing chores until 10:30PM like I was doing before hubby died I just sit down at 7 PM and call it quits for the day. Hang out on face book or do other things I would like to do.

It is just so complicated now. When I was young the thought of a new romance thrilled me like when I got with my late husband. Now not so much.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2018, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,838 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27642
My interpretation of the falling back in love effect of dopamine is that it is not as intense the next time around. Having fun with others will release some, but the consistent release AND the concurrent actions needed for that re-mating would have to be worked at.

Remember that love is not the only thing releasing dopamine. It could be a satisfying meal, a wonderful sunset, an interesting book or show.

Besides, there can be rituals for attempts at re-mating. The "casserole ladies" are one way that is expressed, the older gentleman with what hair is left slicked down and drenched in "Old Spice" another.

On a more serious note, I do think that breakups and death of a spouse can permanently affect the way it is released and when. What used to be a favorite song may now evoke sadness. The uncontained joy of sharing some place or event may now be contained.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2018, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,428 posts, read 2,252,516 times
Reputation: 1826
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
My interpretation of the falling back in love effect of dopamine is that it is not as intense the next time around. Having fun with others will release some, but the consistent release AND the concurrent actions needed for that re-mating would have to be worked at.

Remember that love is not the only thing releasing dopamine. It could be a satisfying meal, a wonderful sunset, an interesting book or show.

Besides, there can be rituals for attempts at re-mating. The "casserole ladies" are one way that is expressed, the older gentleman with what hair is left slicked down and drenched in "Old Spice" another.

On a more serious note, I do think that breakups and death of a spouse can permanently affect the way it is released and when. What used to be a favorite song may now evoke sadness. The uncontained joy of sharing some place or event may now be contained.
Maybe why I enjoy my yard so much and feel so much satisfaction when I accomplish big projects out there. It could be releasing dopamine for me/to me. Right now I am all about making myself happy. Sounds so bitchy selfish. It is what it is it it me now that counts.

OH on the songs. The favorite ones always tear me up even though I love to sing. Hubby could not carry a tune in a paper bag but we did some wild harmony as he loved to cut it loose when singing. Was the little things that kept us so happy for 31 years.

LOL on the casserole ladies. And Old Spice men. I believe this is also true just never thought of it that way so you have given me a good laugh and reminder if I ever start to slip. I will pull this one out of my journal to remind me. Not that I have men beating down my door. This is not the case. Except for the 21 year old stalker and hopefully my court case next Monday will end up in the continuance of my order of protection against him. A years time to allow him to get his head together and leave me alone is enough and his actions are escalating to not only me but an attempted break in at my neighbors house. It has been peaceful since he has been made to move out of his grandparents house.

I think my having walked the widow walk many years ago I learned then the huge pitfalls and this time around I am striving not to make those same mistakes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-30-2018, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,838 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27642
I would like to re-stress a caveat here. When a theory or new information comes about that seems to explain a lot of things, it is usually only a small part of a greater whole. What brings people together is not just chemistry. It can be shared experience, shared values, "ideal mate" beliefs, various needs or desires, security, various "scripts," and dozens of other things. The article covers only a tiny part of the dynamics within a couple and needs to be viewed as a limited model, not as any complete reduction of human relations to chemistry. I easily recognize this because in my own studies I have repeatedly come across ideas that, at first glance to me, appeared to be complete answers, but which I later recognized were more simplistic than complete.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2018, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,428 posts, read 2,252,516 times
Reputation: 1826
Sure This is so true. The first real conversation my then husband to be and I had together we both knew that moment we were meant to be together. We both had been working towards the same goals for years. I had met him before and was best friends with his dad for 11 years but never said more than hi and thanked him once when he did a quick fix on my old clunker truck. I think if there really is Love at first sight we had it and it just grew from that moment /day on for the 31 years we had together. Added up experiences good or bad just grew our bond with each other. I feel I am out of time to grow that kind of bond again. Looking/hoping for it just adds another layer of disappointment and feeling lonely. I just want to take care of me and make a life I am content with without having to have another person in my life. I am not sure I could bear the pain of this loss again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Grief and Mourning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top