6 Symptoms Of Love Addiction Or How To Overcome Neurosis
“ I can’t eat, can’t sleep, still I hunger for you…”
“Original Sin” by Elton John
There has been no small amount of ink spilled over neurotics. Nevertheless, we’ll spill some more of it to shed light on why some crushes make us neurotics unable to break the vicious cycle of love addiction.
Cutting A Long History Short
The way people fall for others today has not always been the same. Moreover, romantic love is a relatively young product promoted by the cognitive revolution ever since we’ve dived deep into speech and arts, as our imagination has evolved.
On the evolution path, we have obtained the ability to be emotionally attached to each other and bond into strong communities that used to protect us. We have gradually become masterful at language and arts, that marked the beginning of the culture, including the cult of abiding love.
In the Middle Ages, a dramatically new idea of love starts taking its first few hesitant steps: love utterly devoid of practicality, unconnected with offsprings, money, power, land or even sexual gratification.
First, the Troubadours, later Romanticists with their newly-minted ideals of “happily-ever-after”, then Hollywood, ad agencies and other contributors polished off the concept of romantic love that tends to suck a lot today.
On the plus side, the overarching sublimation of romantic addictions gave birth to a myriad of beautiful pieces of art: from poetry to architecture.
The reverse side of this overwhelmingly romantic love is neurosis and toxic relationships we get in thrall to.
First Wake-Up Call
“I can’t eat, can’t sleep, still I hunger for you…”. It may be a figure of speech used by Elton John in his song “Original sin”, but it largely reflects what happens when we get hooked on a particular person. This love mania boils down to sky-high levels of certain hormones raging in us during infatuation.
Norepinephrine and dopamine pull the same harness making us euphoric, giddy and fixated, largely contributing to decreased appetite, insomnia, and other less-than-positive effects. That’s why we sometimes really can’t sleep, eat or do something not related to our current flame.
In other words, love addiction develops when these hormones start being produced regularly in response to a particular person. It’s exactly the love when we become absorbed by the only person. And it’s often the consequence of our abandoned goals and great or useful contacts in favor of the one and only, seemingly the best bet.
Brain Of A Drug Addict
As can be seen, we fall victim to this emotional terrorist called “addictive love” not because we fib or dream it up and can quit at any moment, but because our brain spews out tons of chemicals.
Dopamine is produced in the hypothalamus that controls many vital functions including emotion. It all breeds attraction, that in its turn shuts off the prefrontal cortex responsible for rational behavior.
Extreme levels of dopamine breed unhealthy emotional dependence on our partners, love delirium, erratic behavior, jealousy and make us exposed to mania.
Essentially, this mania is tantamount to drug addiction. The reward centers in our brain fire wildly when we look at the pics of the people we get hots for. Brain scans also show that talking about somebody we are attracted to demonstrates the same activity as the brain of people taking cocaine. So if you are curious what it is to blow snow – buck up to fall head over heels in love!
Alternatively, you can start binge-eating to skyrocket your dopamine levels and develop a true-blue addiction. That is, when we feel depressed – our dopamine levels drop and we feel a violent urge to replenish them choosing a surefire “at-fingertips” way – compulsive eating, especially sweets.
Do Savor Your Dopamine
In moderate doses, dopamine is absolutely desired as it helps us enjoy life, relationships, food and all what’s happening around. Yet, when it exceeds the norm, it inflicts suffering.
Familiar With Any Of The 6 Symptoms Of Love Addiction?
1. Compulsive thoughts about her/him stuck in your head.
2. Your heart is racing at the expectation of an upcoming meeting.
3. You are molested with the thought whether he or she likes every possible thing in you.
4. You have a blind spot when it comes to the assessment of objective reality regarding your partner’s drawbacks and weaknesses: rose-tinted glasses of idealization don’t let you see blatant screwups.
5. All the other world loses its meaning in comparison to Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.
6. Everything relating to this person is attributed with special meanings, becomes absolutely unique and outstanding for you and you can’t even cast the thought that there is somebody else at least of equal worth.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining…
this being no exception
Not all people who have pretty high levels of dopamine and related hormones get obsessed with another person. Besides, not all people are born lucky to have dopamine being produced so effectively. Yep, it’s a stroke of great luck because you can use it to your advantage.
Once you might have had a time in your life when you were bustling with dopamine, but you had no clear-cut idea about your life goals, career, personal growth – no attractive targets for your neurotransmitters. At this particular time of uncertainty, you happened to meet a person who fully matched your idea of attractiveness, sexuality and some other tactical-technical characteristics, as a result, you got heavily fixated on them.
In fact, if you’d managed to shift your focus to another target, goal or a new hobby, you would have had more social accomplishments and no neurotic connection.
Addiction Resistance Tactics
1. Set the goals that inspire you and actively pave the way to their fulfillment: this will help your dopamine blow off and not be spent on sweet memories about great past days.
2. If you don’t have goals at the moment which you’d like to follow – create them and strictly comply with the plan.
3. Work with tenacity and energy, be result-oriented.
4. Do more sports (preferably with competitiveness factor).
5. Communicate with people who may support you in your interests, ideas or help discover such.
6. Put the value of yourself above the value of your partner: communicate with sincere and open people who have positive intentions towards a relationship.
7. Do not sacrifice your interests, plans and significant aspects of your life for the whims of your object of love.
Undoubtedly, your first attempts may go down the drain or seem a plain bonkers. But be sure it’s just a matter of habit, and you only have to build a new one: to invest your precious dopamine in your own life rather than a fiction of your mind.
When you start unraveling neurotic patterns of behavior, your old neural connections will begin to wither and be forced out by new and more productive.