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Advil Makes Men More Emotional

Update Date: Aug 04, 2014 04:54 PM EDT
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Want your man to show you more love? Slip him an Advil. New research reveals that taking painkillers can actually make men more emotional. 

Previous studies revealed that drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen help soothe emotional pain, which activates similar brain regions linked to physical pain.

However, new research reveals that painkillers affect men and women differently in terms of emotional distress.

Researchers found that men who take ibuprofen report experiencing harsher feelings of rejection. However, women report feeling better after taking the drug.

Researchers said that latest study could improve our understanding of how men and women deal with emotional problems.

Lead researcher Professor Anita L. Vangelisti at The University of Texas at Austin's Moody College of Communication believe the latest findings could lead to new ways men and women can help each other deal with emotional distress.

Vangelisti and her team found that women who took ibuprofen experienced less intense negative emotions when they were excluded from a game or when they thought of painful experiences. However, men who took ibuprofen felt more intense negative feelings in both situations when taking ibuprofen.

"Hurt feelings are a part of any close relationship, so learning how to think and talk about the social pain we experience in our relationships is important," Vangelisti said in a university release.

"Understanding differences in the way women and men deal with their hurt feelings could go a long way toward helping couples cope with these feelings in their romantic and marital relationships," she added.

"It's possible that taking physical pain relievers provides men with more cognitive resources to express the pain they feel," she explained.

"There's some evidence that, for men, the part of the brain that enables them to regulate their emotions is linked to the part of the brain that processes physical and social pain," Vangelisti said. "If that's the case, taking a physical pain reliever may affect men's ability to hide or suppress their social pain."

"If our findings hold up for younger people, it also could help us address differences in the way children and adolescents think about and respond to socially painful situations like bullying," she concluded.

The findings are published in the journal Personal Relationships

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