A Valentine’s Special: we can never overdose on love

Heart tag

(IFMSA, 2018)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Haya Al Any, a 23-year-old senior premedical student majoring in neurobiology at Arizona State University in Arizona, United States. She is currently serving as AMSA-USA (IFMSA-USA) secretary general. Ms Al Any is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinion expressed in this piece belongs to the writer and does not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The moment we enter the realm of medicine, we confer upon our lives a different value and meaning. We become submerged in tons of textbook pages and we submit to the slavery of time and deadlines. We search for an escape, for the stress to be washed away by increased doses of dopamine.

The pleasurous sensation is irresistible and we might finally fall a prey to substance abuse. But what if the alternative was love? Love changes our minds and our physiology. Love is connected to those joyfulness neurotransmitters that can render our stress, fear and lonesomeness weak in the face of love. It is the medicine that we are looking for, but we ought to be careful of one side-effect, heart break!

Do we have to wander the streets in search of love? Or does love come across our way after crossing miles and miles searching for us? Amid the busiest kind of lives we are leading, we ought to be prepared to find love or to be found by love. When we know that it is the answer and when we become aware of its curative importance, we start letting our psychology interfere with the process. Part of being well-prepared is to take precautions, to not let our psychology lead us to the wrong destination.

Before we find the embodiment of love in another human being, our psychology will start building an ideal picture of that human being, pixel by pixel. The picture will reflect our fantasies and our hopes in love. Thousands of faces pass through our way every day until we find a familiar face; one that will be attached to our memory so quickly and so easily. That face will penetrate our minds and will soon find its way to the secret vault where our psychology keeps that ideal picture.

We are completely ignorant of any other attributes of the owner of this face. What kind of human they are? Are they the right partner to share with us the game of love? We forget to impose these questions and we let our psychology attach this face to the ideal character in the picture. We believe it represents them, truly, until we find the contradicting truth.

They are not the ideal person, they are far from the human being we want to be our company in the journey of life. It is not the fault of that person. It is the fault of our psychology and then heart break becomes the end of the story.

Is heart break avoidable? Can we be protected from this side effect? The answer is absolutely, yes! All we need is to be mindful of love. Where, when, how and whom should we love. Our partner, our love is out there. They are far from the fake picture drawn by our psychology, but they are so close to our hearts. They are the drug that will take us from the anxiety of our extraordinary career life to our safe heaven.

About the Author

Haya Al Any is a 23-year-old senior premedical student majoring in neurobiology at Arizona State University in Arizona, United States. She is currently serving as AMSA-USA (IFMSA-USA) secretary general. Haya has a special interest in psychological studies besides her major. She is passionate about integrating neuroscience and psychology in the study of human behavior and disease in a clinical set up. Haya spends her leisure time writing. She keeps manuscripts related to topics in psychology and social studies to be published later after she graduates from medical school.

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