A person’s upbringing can set in motion many traits that they’ll harbor forever. A lack of affection from parents or a skewed perception on how to show emotion can close some people off. Others could spend an eternity looking for love and developing unhealthy associations with that initial emotion. “Love addiction” is a very real condition and the fact that massive amounts of dopamine are released by the brain during those initial stages of a romantic relation puts it in line with many other addictions. Those substance addictions, which are best treated through drug and alcohol counseling near you, can be assessed by the same experts who are familiar with love-addicted patients. The problem with love addiction is that it’s unhealthy and sets the person up for destructive behavior, some of which we will outline below.
Anyone who has experienced the initial stages of a budding relationship knows that there’s a certain “high” associated with this period. There’s biological and scientific evidence behind this. According to a 2017 Harvard University article, a cocktail of chemicals is released during the phases of lust, attraction and attachment. These include testosterone and estrogen as well as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. Dopamine is “released when we do things that feel good to us. In this case, these things include spending time with loved ones and having sex,” the study says. Dopamine, as those who’ve undergone drug and alcohol counseling near you can attest to, is also released during drug use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “dopamine has more to do with getting us to repeat pleasurable activities (reinforcement) than with producing pleasure directly.”
Some people can get hooked on love’s immediate effects. Other people are using romantic relationships to fill a void that was created in their lives long ago. That void is one of the reasons why people turn to drugs and alcohol, so using love to essentially feel better should come as no surprise. Experts say that small children will learn how to form relationships from watching their parents. If they develop an incomplete picture at a young age, it’s likely that physical or emotional connection as an adult will be troublesome. Abandonment issues are often the result of a traumatic experience at a young age and again, this person could easily grow up and take on traits that hurt both themselves and those they pursue in romantic relationships.
High standards and comprehensive treatment plans that are unique to the individual can make a world of difference. An addiction to love can take a serious toll on someone’s mental and emotional health. The outward signs may not be as obvious as those exhibited by someone suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but counselors and medical professionals will know what to look for. With this expert oversight from rehabilitation center staff, it’s possible to overcome this hurdle in life.