This is from the ABC web news page.
Now I know it wasn't my imagination.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The feeling is familiar to anyone who has been passed over in picking teams or snubbed at a party -- a sickening, almost painful feeling in the stomach.
Well, it turns out that "kicked in the gut" feeling is real, U.S. scientists said on Thursday.
Brain imaging studies show that a social snub affects the brain precisely the way visceral pain does.
"When someone hurts your feelings, it really hurts you," said Matt Lieberman, a social psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who worked on the study.
"I wouldn't want to be quoted as saying that physical pain and social pain are the same thing, but it seems that some of the same things are going on."
The study may also show why it hurts to lose someone you love, researchers said.
Lieberman, graduate student Naomi Eisenberger and colleagues set up a brain imaging test of 13 volunteers to find out how social distress affects the brain.
They used functional magnetic imaging -- a type of scan that allows the brain's activity to be viewed "live." The 13 volunteers were given a task that they did not know related to an experiment in social snubbing.
Writing in the journal Science, Lieberman and Eisenberger said the brains of the volunteers lit up when they were rejected in virtually the same way as a person experiencing physical pain.
"It would be odd if social pain looked like the exact same thing as someone-breaking-your-arm pain," Lieberman said in a telephone interview. "What it does look like is visceral pain."
In other words -- like being punched in the stomach.