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Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

Dr. Pepper Schwartz answers your questions about healing heartache.

Here is the transcript from the Nov. 22 online chat with AARP's sex and relationship ambassador, Dr. Pepper Schwartz.

 

Question from Larry: My dad is still so sad since my mom died. How can I help him get through it?

PS: Larry, that's a great question and I think you can help him. Take him out, take him to a dance. Take him to a golf course. Take him fishing. Take him snowmobiling. JUST take him. Get him moving; get him thinking about new things. Get him happy in spite of himself. And the longer those periods of happiness, of walking the golf course or playing chess or joining a choir, the more his internal hormone system will start giving him endorphins instead of toxins. Depression creates steroids that undermine our energy and our happiness. So, get him into activities that create positive experiences and it will change his mind and his health and his happiness.

AARP host: Pepper, thank you so much for joining us today. Any parting thoughts for our viewers?

PS: First of all, I would like to thank everyone who asked questions. I know how hard it is to be in a situation where your heart is broken — I've been there, done that. So I want to tell you that I not only sympathize but I empathize. I also know that you can bounce back and you can, with some work, fall in love again, leave a bad situation, and begin a new life and a happier life. I know some of you are in very bleak situations, but please believe in a better tomorrow. Because there actually is one. And for those of you loving children who have called in about your parents, you can help them. And I am so grateful that you want to. Life isn't easy, love is a powerful emotion, and when it goes sideways, it can be powerfully destructive. But the same emotion that has hurt us can heal us. I urge you to look for that healing kind of love in your life.

AARP host: Thanks, again, Pepper. See you next time.

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