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A Broken Heart


inquiringmind

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I was just talking to someone who says he knows what a broken heart feels like, and seems to think it's a literal, physical pain in your chest.

That really surprised me.

How many of you have experienced a broken heart, and how many of you would describe it that way?

Edited by inquiringmind
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The footnotes for Chapter 35 of Talmage's Jesus the Christ say that Christ died of a broken heart.

The Physical Cause of Christ's Death.While, as stated in the text, the yielding up of life was voluntary on the part of Jesus Christ, for He had life in Himself and no man could take His life except as He willed to allow it to be taken, (John 1:4; 5:26; 10:15-18) there was of necessity a direct physical cause of dissolution. As stated also the crucified sometimes lived for days upon the cross, and death resulted, not from the infliction of mortal wounds, but from internal congestion, inflammations, organic disturbances, and consequent exhaustion of vital energy. Jesus, though weakened by long torture during the preceding night and early morning, by the shock of the crucifixion itself, as also by intense mental agony, and particularly through spiritual suffering such as no other man has ever endured, manifested surprising vigor, both of mind and body, to the last. The strong, loud utterance, immediately following which He bowed His head and "gave up the ghost," when considered in connection with other recorded details, points to a physical rupture of the heart as the direct cause of death. If the soldier's spear was thrust into the left side of the Lord's body and actually penetrated the heart, the outrush of "blood and water" observed by John is further evidence of a cardiac rupture; for it is known that in the rare instances of death resulting from a breaking of any part of the wall of the heart, blood accumulates within the pericardium, and there undergoes a change by which the corpuscles separate as a partially clotted mass from the almost colorless, watery serum. Similar accumulations of clotted corpuscles and serum occur within the pleura. Dr. Abercrombie of Edinburgh, as cited by Deems (Light of the Nations, p. 682), "gives a case of the sudden death of a man aged seventy-seven years, owing to a rupture of the heart. In his case 'the cavities of the pleura contained about three pounds of fluid, but the lungs were sound.' " Deems also cites the following instance: "Dr. Elliotson relates the case of a woman who died suddenly. 'On opening the body the pericardium was found distended with clear serum, and a very large coagulum of blood, which had escaped through a spontaneous rupture of the aorta near its origin, without any other morbid appearance.' Many cases might be cited, but these suffice." For detailed treatment of the subject the student may be referred to Dr. Wm. Stroud's work On the Physical Cause of the Death of Christ. Great mental stress, poignant emotion either of grief or joy, and intense spiritual struggle are among the recognized causes of heart rupture.

The present writer believes that the Lord Jesus died of a broken heart. The psalmist sang in dolorous measure according to his inspired prevision of the Lord's passion: "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Ps. 69:20, 21; see also 22:14.)

Edited by Rivers
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I'd like to think I have had a broken heart or two in my time. I guess I could see a pit of your stomach type "pain" but I have always thought the mental stress of a broken heart was worse than any physical pain.

But that's what surprised me.

The individual I was talking to insists that the pain of a broken heart is a literal, physical pain in your chest, and seems to think that I'm talking about something unreal when I speak of emotional pain.

He also says (as if this was somehow relevant) that it's impossible for the brain to feel pain because it has no nerve receptors.

That may be literally true, but I don't think it has anything to do with mental torment or emotional pain, and it seems to me that that kind of pain can be as easily perceived as centered in your head as your chest.

I know there have been times in my life when I've wanted to pull my hair out or bang my head against a wall.

Would anyone who's felt the pain of a broken heart describe it as a literal, physical pain in your chest?

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He also says (as if this was somehow relevant) that it's impossible for the brain to feel pain because it has no nerve receptors.

That may be literally true, but I don't think it has anything to do with mental torment or emotional pain, and it seems to me that that kind of pain can be as easily perceived as centered in your head as your chest.

Well that right there should tell you to stop listening to this individual. The brian is one big bundle of nerve cells. This person obviously has no clue what he is talking about.

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I was just talking to someone who says he knows what a broken heart feels like, and seems to think it's a literal, physical pain in your chest.

That really surprised me.

How many of you have experienced a broken heart, and how many of you would describe it that way?

I assume that you are speaking of a broken heart in the scriptural sense, and not a broken love.

The broken heart is like the broken horse in many ways. It is not a singular event, but a process. It is the removal of pride and is complete and utter submission to your master. This process can be described as "painful", but I would not consider it a physical pain in your chest.

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I assume that you are speaking of a broken heart in the scriptural sense, and not a broken love.

Your assumption would be wrong.

I'm talking about a broken heart in the sense of personal loss and emotional pain.

My friend disagrees with my use of the word "emotional."

I was wondering how many of you, if you've ever experienced "a broken heart," would insist that the pain is physical, and centered in the chest.

Edited by inquiringmind
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Well that right there should tell you to stop listening to this individual. The brian is one big bundle of nerve cells. This person obviously has no clue what he is talking about.

Not quite.

http://www.brainline.org/content/2012/07/can-the-brain-itself-feel-pain.html

Does the brain itself have pain receptors?

There are no pain receptors in the brain itself. But he meninges (coverings around the brain), periosteum (coverings on the bones), and the scalp all have pain receptors. Surgery can be done on the brain and technically the brain does not feel that pain.

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Right but he said nerve receptor, the brain is the receptor of all nerve cells and is itself one big bundle of nerve cells.

The brain would more accurately be described as a receiver rather than a receptor, there is a difference. The pain receptors that are being referred to are called nociceptors, there are none in the brain.

He also says (as if this was somehow relevant) that it's impossible for the brain to feel pain because it has no nerve receptors.

Nociceptors only detect physical pain, they have nothing to do with emotional pain. The brain can process and perceive of emotional pain with or without nociceptors. Emotional stress can trigger several physiological process which may cause angina (chest, or heart pain). Or, the person might be experiencing heart burn and blames it on his breakup.

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When you feel sorrow, or regret, is it in your head, you chest, someplace else, or is it all over (and is it a physical feeling, or something else)?

Generally it is "in your head" but strong emotions can elicit other physical reactions. The most common being changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and perspirations. I don't know of any specific pain or feeling associated with sorrow or regret, it may be different for different individuals.
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So would you describe a broken heart as a physical pain in your chest?

A pain that just kinda hurt all over?

Or painful thoughts you can't get out of your head?

i was just responding to the pain receptors in the brain point. As far as the rest, I haven't experienced it.

Edited by calmoriah
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Right but he said nerve receptor, the brain is the receptor of all nerve cells and is itself one big bundle of nerve cells.

Which is why I said "not quite" instead of "you are wrong, not him". :)

I wonder if he actually said "nerve receptor" or if inquiring misremembered and it was actually "pain receptor".

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Definitely. Just as a mind can have a headache. There is a soul in the heart too, I believe. When people are donated a heart they sometimes display some of that donors personality traits. The heart area feels emotion. I've felt it.

Edited by Tacenda
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There was the moment that my darling Boy confessed he had lost his belief in Jesus Christ and was not going to be ordained an Elder in 10 days...and then he cried.Of course my heart broke for him. It was a very big deal for him to be honest and step away from EVERYTHING he had been taught about spiritually. It was not rebellion nor a knee jerk response to some outside influence. This was his thought through decision. I saw how hard it was for him. Yep, it hurt all over and it took a very long time to really mend. How can someone say that there is not an emotional element to a truly broken heart? Surely when any other part of the body breaks there is a emotional response. I cannot imagine how Christ bore all the sins of the world for so many days...maybe because he knew it would end soon. But a mother's heart has to mend and keep on even though there is sore scar tissue there. You never really heal.

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Ordinarily, the broken heart is a metaphor which means that some event has occurred that has a debilitating mental and emotional effect on someone. To restrict the meaning of the term as used in English to a literal experience of pain in the chest would be to confuse it with a heart attack. The broken heart is much more about non-physical pain than incidental manifestations in any parts of the body.

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Ordinarily, the broken heart is a metaphor which means that some event has occurred that has a debilitating mental and emotional effect on someone. To restrict the meaning of the term as used in English to a literal experience of pain in the chest would be to confuse it with a heart attack. The broken heart is much more about non-physical pain than incidental manifestations in any parts of the body.

Have you ever experienced it?

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Have you ever experienced it?

Maybe. Only in the shallows. A naive young man's first experiences with pain caused at least sleep loss. I kept functioning and eventually forgot about it. As we mature, we are hopefully stronger and not so easily taken by surprise when foolish expectations about love are not met. My pain was caused less by betrayal and more by self-love that had hopes dissatisfied. I have never experienced much mistreatment from someone I cared for.

I suppose sometimes hearts may be broken by a series of unforeseen tragedies where no one is to blame. But I suspect that the classic example of the broken heart would be to have a trusted loved one to be discovered to have committed betrayal. Jesus and Judas. A cheating spouse. A friend who lies to you. A family member. The song says "only love can break your heart", but that isn't quite fair. It seems to blame love. True, the less we love, the safer our hearts. The more we love, the more danger of such an event. That is why I think it is probably healthy to have so suffered a few times. It would demonstrate a selfless spirit of trust and warmth towards people that is willing to take that risk. I don't guess I have really ever had much of a broken heart. So much the worse for me, eh? I would think that the broken heart that is properly mended should always be the stronger for it.

3DOP

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