Love Addiction is a state of mind in which a higher value is placed on the object of a person's affection (partner, spouse, etc.) than the love addict's well-being, health, family, or job. In active Love Addiction, the individual will breach their own values. The person will do things they would not normally do because the object of the individual's affection is so important. In active love addiction our mood changes drastically, huge mood swings up and down. The reason is due to phenylethelamine or PEA for short. Amine indicates it is an amphetamine. PEA is a naturally occurring chemical in our brain. PEA floods our brain when we see the object of our affection. Since PEA is an amphetamine, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
When the sympathic nervous system is stimulated, the primary chemical adrenaline (epinephrine) floods through the brain and body. This provides lots of energy and a high mood. This extremely high mood makes the Love Addict feel on top of the world. However, when the Love Addict feels as though the object of his or her affection is going to leave, or has lost interest, the mood drops really low. This is very uncomfortable. When people are in this very low mood, they often become very anxious, depressed and sometimes suicidal. The Love Addict may have difficulty sleeping, anxiety, nausea, chills, fever or body aches. This reaction is due to the loss of PEA and dopamine.
This takes place in the area of the brain called the Limbic System. This is where the reward system and learning is located. Stimulation of the Love Addiction pathway and dopamine pathway causes the release of dopamine. The Limbic System is the region of the brain used for learning and the reward system Dopamine provided lots of energy and is responsible for providing the drive to get things done.
Dopamine causes the Love Addict to become extremely motivated to get things done. People in active love addiction have all this chemistry going on in their brain, body, and more importantly, in their limbic system. The Love Addict is extremely motivated to go 'get' that person, drive by their place, get dressed up, do things for the other person, or dress up in order to look appealing to the other person. The Love Addict will choose these behaviors over anything else. The dopamine creates a very strong focus on the object of our affection, preventing focusing on other areas of our life. People will stop working, eating, exercise, cleaning house, or caring for self. Focus is primarily on the object of the Love Addict’s affection. The individual is addicted to the 'euphoric feeling' rather than the person. This is 'pair bonding', as identified by Helen Fisher, that takes place in this region of the brain.
What is Love Addiction?.