I came across this New York Times article, Rejection May Hurt More than Feelings.
The study found that an unwanted breakup affects the brain the same way as having hot coffee spilled on your skin.
In other words, emotional pain is like, or the same as, physical pain.
Also, the New York Times Sunday Book Review features a review, Making Sense of a Toxic World, of a new book, What’s Gotten Into Us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World, that looks at the difficulty of proving there’s a clear cause-and-effect of our chemical-laden bodies with rising rates of autoimmune disease, some cancers, autism, reproductive problems, and so on.
It’s not a rave review by any means, but it does have this to say:
The more interesting parts here concern the chemical industry and the free rein it’s had to market scores of thousands of underscrutinized compounds. But it isn’t just chemicals that have gotten into us, Jenkins astutely notes: it’s also culture. “We are saturated with products, and marketing, and advertising,” he writes. “Our ignorance is not an accident.” Manufacturers fight labeling laws, and the federal government doesn’t adequately support independent research into the environmental and health impacts of even the most commonly used chemicals. Regulatory agencies are underfunded and understaffed, even as consumption of manufactured goods (and goods imported from countries with even less regulation than ours) continues to rise.
The reviewer concludes:
… it’s a fine, user-friendly introduction to avoiding environmental hazards in the home, and an even better catalyst to questioning how we got to this point and transcending our unthinking reliance on chemicals that — at certain levels, in certain circumstances, at certain times in our lives — definitely do more harm than good.