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  • midlifelove 1:42 am on June 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , cocaine, , , , , , , , , , , , , , organ, , , , , , , why we love,   

    Breaking Love Addiction 

    breaking love addiction

    He – or she – is the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night. He’s – or she’s – your lover, your soul mate. You can read each other’s minds.  You are just meant for each other. It’s uncanny – almost a spiritual thing.

    That’s what you thought until little cracks started appearing in your dream of ‘together forever’. When he or she decided they weren’t that into you anymore and they departed, taking your heart/world/future with them.

    The ‘love of your life’ has walked out and you’re about to discover the dark side of romantic love. Of being devoured by unsatisfied desire – for as Plato said 2000 years ago “The God of Love lives in a state of need.”

    Love Like Cocaine

    That need is a dopamine-fuelled ‘high’ which brain imaging shows activates the reward/pleasure centres in the brain in ways very similar to cocaine and heroin.

    And that’s the first important key to getting over love sickness, says Dr Helen Fisher, an expert on romantic love. Understand it is an addiction and some of the principles of the addiction counselling – like 12 Step programs – are helpful in getting over it.

    Romantic love is associated with high levels of dopamine and probably also norepinephrine – brain substances that drive down serotonin.  And low levels of serotonin are associated with despair, and even suicide.

    If nothing else, hankering after “what-might-have-been” can waste years of your life. It also kills some people. When a love affair turns sour, the human brain is set up for depression, and perhaps, self annihilation… The Japanese even glorified “love suicide” as evidence of one’s devotion.

    Tricky Thinking

    The idea, says Dr Fisher, is to ‘trick your brain’ into producing dopamine in response to new stimuli.

    Despair from unrequited love will most likely also mean plummeting dopamine levels.  As you focus your attention and do novel things, you elevate this feel-good substance, boosting energy and hope. We can also utilise new research on brain functioning which shows we are wired to integrate thoughts and feelings. We can in other words, control our drive to love.

    Woody Allen (in Sleepers) quipped “My brain? It’s my second favourite organ” – and he isn’t alone.  In this “golden age of the brain” neuroscientists are gaining increased understanding of our decision-making processes – and what they are learning can help us take control of our thoughts and feelings. We are wired so we can choose to think before we act (the high road) or we can allow our emotions to dictate our actions (the low road).

    The love addiction can be conquered. It takes determination, time and some understanding of brain function and human nature. Says Dr Fisher:  “Someone is camping in your brain; you must throw the scoundrel out.”

    Foods to beat love addiction

    Many of the neurochemicals involved in sex and love – including dopamine, serotonin and testosterone – are affected by the stress of  severe loss. Divorce can add ten years to a man’s testosterone levels in just a few months. The good news is, the ‘chemicals of love’ can be boosted by eating the right foods – including cottage cheese, chicken, dark chocolate, yoghurt, eggs, and oats, or by herbal and nutritional supplements like Herbal Ignite. Visit http://www.herbalignite.com to find out more about.

     
    • Elvira Lind 9:54 am on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      DOCUMENTARY ON LOVE ADDICTION

      We are looking for people who would like to participate in a documentary on love addiction.

      If you are addicted to love, love becomes more of a struggle than something great and joyful.

      Love addiction can rule your life in a destructive way. As someone addicted to love, you ignore your own boundaries and needs, and your attempts to loving someone are seldom returned. Love addiction can lead to obsessive thinking, anxiety, despair and loneliness.

      With this film we would like to tell the world around us more about love addiction and help people understand. We hope you would like to help with your insights and experiences. There are many types and stages of love addiction, and we are interested in hearing about any one of them.

      We will be in the US in November and December 2009.

      Learn more: http://www.loveaddictiondoc.com

      Write us: loveaddiction@danishdocumentary.com

      Warm regards

      Elvira (research) and Pernille Rose (director)

  • midlifelove 3:15 am on June 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , why we love   

    Why is love addictive? 

    love-addiction copy

    Brain imaging has confirmed what lovers have long-known. The crazy fixation we call romantic love is an addiction. . . maybe that’s why the Greeks called romantic love “the madness of the gods.”

    Anyone who has ever been in the clutches of irrational infatuation knows the symptoms. Seemingly inexhaustible energy allows you to talk until dawn.  Satiated with love, you don’t need to eat; you feel you can live on air. Elated when things are going well, you sink into despair when things look like collapsing.

    Noticeably there is a real dependence on the relationship, says Dr Helen Fisher, an expert on romantic love whose books including Why We Love trace the physical and psychological dependence of this primary human drive.

    And dependence it is. Brain scans of love-stricken couples compared with men and women injected with cocaine, show many of the same brain regions become active.  So how does this happen?

    Three Classic Symptoms

    Directly or indirectly, all “drugs of abuse” affect a single pathway in the brain, the reward centres activated by dopamine. Romantic love stimulates parts of the same pathway with the same chemical.

    In response to dopamine, the bewitched lover shows three classic symptoms of addiction: tolerance, withdrawal and relapse.

    Tolerance: At first you’re happy to see loved one now and then… but very quickly you need them more and more until you “can’t live without them.”

    Withdrawal: Dropped by your lover? The rejected one shows all the classic signs of drug withdrawal – depression, crying, anxiety, insomnia, loss or appetite or binge eating, irritability and chronic loneliness. You’ll also go to humiliating lengths to “procure a fix” – to see your lover, and try and renew the relationship.

    Relapse: Long after the affair is over, hearing a particular song, or revisiting an old haunt can trigger the craving and initiate compulsive calling or writing to get another “high”. The lover is “a slave of passion.” Or rather – a slave to dopamine.

    The Dopamine High

    Dopamine. It’s at the core of our sexual drives and survival needs, and it motivates us to do just about everything. This mechanism within the reward circuitry of the primitive brain has been around for millions of years.

    It’s behind a lot of the desire we associate with eating and sexual intercourse. Similarly, all addictive drugs trigger dopamine (the “craving neurochemical”) to stimulate the pleasure/reward circuitry. So do gambling, shopping, overeating, sexual climax and other, seemingly unrelated, activities. They all work somewhat differently on the brain, but all raise your dopamine.

    You get a bigger blast of dopamine eating high-calorie, high-fat foods than eating low-calorie vegetables. You may believe that you love ice cream, but you really love your blast of dopamine. You’re genetically programmed to seek out high-calorie foods over others. Similarly, dopamine drives you to have sex over most other activities.

    Boost Sexual Health

    Many of the hormones involved in sex and love – including dopamine, serotonin and testosterone – are susceptible to stress or aging. They can be boosted by eating the right foods – including cottage cheese, chicken, dark chocolate, yoghurt, eggs, and oats, or by herbal and nutritional supplements like Herbal Ignite.

     
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