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Brain Chemistry in Unrequited Love

Brain Chemistry in Unrequited Love.

Those of you who have read my blog “Unrequited Love and Cocaine” know that while unrequited love is connected with tension and anxiety, this state, mixed with hope of reciprocity at times leads the unrequited lover to feel extreme happiness to the level of euphoria. This reaction is similar to the effect of cocaine. Like cocaine, love increases the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the body. Because dopamine is associated with pleasure and causes the brain to think about pleasurable moments, narcotic drugs like cocaine increase the brain’s levels of dopamine and cause addiction. This scientifically explains why unrequited lovers are addicted to the object of love.

At the point when the framework of aforementioned neurotransmitters in the unrequited lover’s brain destabilizes, in the early phases of love, their state of mind gets flimsy as well. So does their capacity to think rationally and make sensible decisions. When madly in love with someone and ready to go to any extent to be loved back by them, lovers end up doing things they wouldn’t otherwise dream about doing. Nothing truly matters where the object of love is concerned. In extreme cases, unrequited lovers may run into debts, leave their families, move overseas, quit a job, loot banks, or even resort to killing someone who looks or behaves like a potential barrier.

At the point where you have really messed up your brain chemistry, your choices and thinking capacity changes. Even your beliefs are altered. Research suggests that when you disturb the brain chemistry, you will probably have vague hypnotic experiences, see things that do not exist, and even fall prey to fake astrologers and magicians who claim to get you what you desire.

Increase in levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the body makes the brain go into an over-excited state and have seizure-like effects. A large increase in “feel good” chemicals turns off sanity. The object of love, then signals the brain that everything is alright. Their presence boosts serotonin levels, which turn off rational sense and increase feeling of satisfaction so much that the new behaviour skips being scrutinized by the brain and initial (sane) beliefs are completely forgotten. If not stopped or controlled, obsessive unrequited love can lead to hallucinations, identity disintegration and illusions of time and distance. Thoughts can become illusionary and old memories may blend with new experiences.

Dopamine alone can cause people to form superstitious beliefs and start practising them in the name of religion and spirituality. These results may explain the tendency of unrequited lovers to attach meaning to everything said by the beloved. When in love, dopamine levels are high when you think of your beloved. This makes the brain attach meaning to coincidences and find meaningful pattern in casually spoken words.

When a love relationship is ended by one of the partners, it can be really hard to handle, especially for the person who wanted the relationship to continue. Not like breakup can erases the past. A breakup makes the past immortal, but erases the future. It shatters dreams of the future. It doesn’t ruin what was. It ruins what was going to be.  What hurts most is the abrupt deprivation of the future you depended on. This loss makes you a different individual, with different aspirations and with too many empty spaces to fill with people less desirable than those you had hoped for. A breakup is the worst form of rejection, a cruel destruction of an individual’s self-esteem and leaves them hurt, raw and exposed.

unrequited love 30 June 16

A broken relationship leads the unrequited lovers to a “withdrawal from addiction” sort of psychological state. It takes the ‘high’ away from their life. When an individual has reached the chemical stage of addiction to love, they start showing some/all of the following withdrawal symptoms that make it painfully clear just how addicted they are to the beloved.

  • need to indulge more in the activity or drug to achieve the desired effect;
  • failure to do so resulting in withdrawal symptoms;
  • ensuring that the activity or drug access can be continued;
  • reduce important social, occupational or recreational activities;
  • persistent desire to quit or control the activity or drug; and
  • disability to quit in spite of the knowledge of its physical or psychological consequences.

See any of these in yourself? Share it in the comments section to help other unrequited lovers know it’s not just them!

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6 years ago

What is the difference in brain chemistry between unrequited love and reciprocated love?

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