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​Love addiction: when does love become a disease?

​Love addiction

What can be more beautiful than love? This feeling enables you to experience a range of strong and bright emotions and brings you elation. However, sometimes true love is mistaken for love addiction, and these states are drastically opposite though they seem similar at first sight.

A love addict does not want to notice anything except his beloved, and all his thoughts and dreams are going around only one and the same thing which is common for other types of addictions. This state is destructive: the person who is in love is suffering all the time, feel jealousy and mistrust and cannot feel happy even next to the beloved other. Real love is always constructive, it brings joy and motivates one to grow spiritually. This works not only for love relationships between a man and a woman, but for other kinds of love as well: love to a relative, an occupation or even a thing. Nevertheless, love addiction is most frequent when related to the love of a man and a woman.

How can love be explained?

The feeling of love seems to be inconceivable, but in fact scientific studies proved that the state of being in love is bound with some physical processes in the body. When people fall in love, only the certain part of brain responsible for emotions gets activated what is called the principle of dominant – ability to concentrate on only one excitation focus. Thus all the rest joys of life except being together with a partner become minor, and even their fulfillment are about the “main passion”. Some scholars even consider love a disease, but fortunately the majority thinks different.

Love, as well as all other feelings, has the biochemical nature, and love is the result of not only nerve sells' activity but also of special chemicals' influence. Thus phenylethylamine is responsible for physical conditions coming together with the love feeling: palpitation, fever, “butterflies in the stomach” etc. Endorphins also affect, as well as adrenaline which level increases.

In the emergence of love the important role is played by pheromones – chemicals secreted by specific glands and causing feeling of attraction. A human is able to smell even a tiny bit of pheromones with a special vomeronasal organ located in the nose – so-called Jacobson's organ. There is an assumption that if people liked pheromones of each other then mutual sympathy and love feeling arise. But this theory cannot explain one-way love.

Symptoms and detection of love addiction

If the mechanism of love is nearly the same for all people, then why some individuals have happy relationships, while others are constantly unhappy though their love is endless? The point is in the transformation of true love into addiction though it can originate as an addiction quite often, especially for not confident or egocentrical people.

What is the difference between healthy attachment in love and a painful love addiction? Here are the signs:

  • Inability to concentrate on and think about the things not related to the romantic interest;
  • Prevalence of negative emotions over positive ones. Permanent diffidence in oneself and in partner, anxiety, tension instead of feelings of joy, stability and harmony which are common for“normal” love;
  • Drastic mood changes depending on the look, speech and behaviour of the object of passion. Lack of psychological freedom;
  • Inability to achieve harmony when one feels unhappy both alone and in couple;
  • Constant sense of guilt, inability to evaluate relationships critically;
  • Fear and suspicions that the beloved other can break relationships at any moment;
  • Intention to get full control over the partner (innumerable calls, questions, requiring reports about all actions).
  • The main difference of love addiction and true love is that the first one ruins and the latter one creates. Love addiction causes pain both to the addicted person and his beloved. It's quite dangerous thing that can cause neurosis, severe psychic disorders and even may lead to suicide if psychological treatment is late.

There is no such diagnose as love addiction though it is the same powerful and destructive as other addictions. But you can detect it by yourself after having read related books and articles in web. Besides, any experienced psychologist can detect love addiction if there is any.

Treatment for love addiction

Psychotherapy is the important but not the major part of the treatment. Consulting a psychologist can detect the causes of obsession and destructive behaviour, the doctor may prescribe sedatives and antidepressants, in severe cases even hypnosis can be applied. However, the love addict should help himself to get rid of addiction, and several effective ways exist:

  • Lope de Vega method originates from the works of a Spanish playwright: in one of his plays there is a sentence about searching the weak points in the beloved in order to fall out of love. Exaggerate: if the partner is thrifty and economical consider him a miser; if he is a skilled lover, call him a womanizer.
  • Pasteur's method refers to vaccination principles discovered by a French chemist and microbiologist. His method of exposing the patients to a vaccine for stimulating immune system can be applied for one-way love: the addict should switch his/her interest to another person, but here there is a risk to get another addiction so it's better to stop at a flirting stage.
  • Freud method means sublimation of sexual energy in intellectual or creative activity. To distract your attention from the addiction, try to draw, read popular science books, write stories etc. This will help to get rid of intrusive thoughts and to get new skills.
  • Sport and active life. Physical activity is a very good way to distract an individual from any thoughts, including thoughts about love. As a bonus you get your health strengthened and your mood uplifted.
  • Deromantification. To stop seeing a world in a romantic way is an effective method to overcome the love addiction. Talking to the people neglecting love also can help. But if it doesn't bring relief, then hard physical work will help for sure. It requires some courage to change your work to a hard one, but love addiction will be gone.

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