There is a lot of talk today about non-toxic addictions, that is, addictions in which substances such as alcohol, cannabis or cocaine are not involved; also known as behavioral addictions.
Here are a few examples: addiction to gambling, shopping, sex, pornography, social media or the Internet. Today I am going to talk about another of these addictions, one that is hardly known, although many of you will be quickly identified, today we will talk about addiction to love or, rather, about addiction to falling in love.
A love story that “sticks”
We’re not talking about something romantic or poetry, we’re talking about addiction, and therefore chemistry and changes in the brain. When someone falls in love, they experience a very special feeling, a pleasure so intense that we will not find anything else in life that compares.. The colors are brighter, the air fresher, the people are nicer, everything is much more beautiful; problems go away and optimism and happiness are wasted. Drunk in love! How pretty it is! Only that it’s over, it doesn’t last forever.
This is how we all understand it, and this is how we all experienced it. Well, not everyone. Some people do not accept the coming descent and seek a state of perpetual love. The brain becomes obsessed with these early states of love, just as a heroin addict becomes obsessed with heroin or an alcoholic obsessed with alcohol. We’re talking about adding, because whatever the stimulus is, it’s all about chemistry.
In the loving brain increase the levels of certain neurochemicals also called neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, linked to reward and pleasure circuits; norepinephrine, which is responsible for the feeling of euphoria or excitement, and serotonin, which acts on emotions and mood and is responsible for the feeling of happiness.
These changes in brain chemistry are very similar to what you experience when we use drugsFor example, cocaine blocks the receptors that clear these neurotransmitters once they have been used, thereby increasing levels and causing that feeling of euphoria and pleasure.
All drugs alter these levels in the brain in one way or another, each with their own unique mechanisms. In behavioral addictions, it is the behavior itself that causes the stimulation of the production of these neurotransmitters and therefore the increase in levels.
The descent after falling in love
The brain, over time, returns to normal levels of these love chemicals, it stabilizes, As for drugs taken for a long time. Some people interpret it as the loss of love, when in reality what happened is that the neural receptors got used to this excess of neurochemicals.
The immense feeling of pleasure disappears. This process is known as habituation or tolerance.; Either way, the brain is less sensitive to the effects of drugs or, in this case, to behaviors that alter the chemical balance of the brain.
Then, the addict needs to increase the dose to continue to feel this feeling of pleasure, anxiously seeks to regain the state of drunkenness he had and therefore launches into dangerous, conflictual, hurtful relationships, with fights and reconciliations, jealousy, deceit, infidelity.
It sabotages the relationships that work as the surge in love begins to crumble and blames the other for all the problems. too much you may be constantly changing partners, jumping from one romance to another, in order to keep this feeling of newness alive. Some can establish multiple relationships at once, in a stormy plot of infidelity, deception and lies. Anything to keep that emotional uplifting, don’t let the flow of chemicals stop.
Maybe some readers confuse this addiction with emotional addiction or with sex addiction. In the first, an exaggerated emotional bond is the most characteristic sign, and in the second, what we find is precisely the opposite, that is, emotional disinterest. In love addiction, the emotional bond is strong at the beginning and deteriorates when the novelty ends.