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Mental Effects of Unrequited Love

Mental Effects of Unrequited Love.

Most psychological disorders are associated with the activation of amygdala. While it has various other functions, the prime role of the amagdala is to stimulate negative emotions. Schizophrenics have been noted to have lower amygdala stimulation due to reduction in its size, also affecting memory. On the contrary, individuals suffering with hypertension, insecurity and depression have increased amygdala stimuli and sharp memory. To study this, scientists observed a woman who had a non-functional amygdala and tested her reactions to fearful situations. She was observed in the presence of reptiles and ferocious animals. She was also taken to apparently haunted places and asked to watch horror movies. The notes she took at that time, about her reaction to those situations confirmed loss of fear. This reconfirmed the fact that our body is stimulated to experience fear due to the activation of amygdala.

Cortisol readies our body for a “fight or flight” reaction, along with other adrenal hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine. Stress hormones are produced in times of risk and danger. They are involuntarily produced and discharged in our system, irrespective of the danger being real or perceived. One example of this is fear of public speaking.

Being in unrequited love causes this effect in the brain. Being unsure about the feelings of the beloved, constant fear of rejection, uncontrollable sexual desires, and the entire mysterious situation sends the amygdala into a hyperactive mode. This triggers the neurotransmitters to send signals to the adrenal gland that something scary is going on, which leads to a rush of adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol into the bloodstream. This leads to the physiological effects that I have talked about in my blog Effects of Limerence, and affect an unrequited lover physically, like flushing, cold-sweats, shyness, stuttering, palpitations and trembling. If there is incessant anxiety, it might reflect in the person’s behaviour. Some people feel the impact either immediately or following contact with the beloved. It makes them euphoric or extremely sad, depending upon what goes on at that time. Due to the sudden change in hormones, they are naturally alert, with heightened awareness at all times. They also feel highly energetic and charged, and mostly are unable to channel this energy to something creative or constructive. Most of this energy is spent on following the beloved and in finding ways to be around them. 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.

featured image 27 Aug 16

  • 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? Couples sometimes part after being together for a long time. One of the partners unexpectedly switches off, and turns cold or unresponsive, leaving the other individual in unrequited love. This makes the abandoned individual lonely because he is still in love and is longing to be loved back. There are also situations of each individual being married to another person, or both living a distance apart. All of these situations cause deep emotional turmoil in the lives of people suffering in love. The force of this unrequited love stirs the creative energy around the lovers and leads to heightening of creative inspiration, resulting in music, painting or poetry.

An indication of an unrequited love story is when your beloved never wavers to solicit favors from you that obliges you to give up your time and commitment, yet when it’s an ideal opportunity to return the favor, he or she never appears to have time or ability. The individual appears to be too occupied with other, more important tasks at hand, and does not see it important to put them aside and be available for you.

You might even be told that your expectations are unrealistic and it is unfair on your part to expect the other person to be available for you at your convenience. Remember, if the other person loves you, there cannot be anything more important than being by your side when you need them.

Is Unrequited love the worst feeling?
Loneliness, self-doubt, and heartache make unrequited love seem like the worst possible experience ever. There’s something uniquely devastating about having your heart call out to someone who doesn’t feel the same but doesn’t despair just yet. Unrequited love can be good for you, even though it might not feel like right now.

What’s on the other side will surprise you. You suddenly realize that all you’ve gone through is worth it. You come out as a better, even happier person. Trust me when I tell you that your life isn’t over. Unrequited love happens, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a better, stronger love in your future.

Is Unrequited love unhealthy?
Jokes Moss during his annual Valentine’s Day lecture to first-year medical students.

“When people fall in love,” he explains, “their heart rate increases. Sometimes their hearts even skip a beat.” Even then, the math suggests that the heart in love would tick faster, using up its lifetime of beats more quickly.

But, as Moss points out, the symptoms of falling in love are different from those of actually being in love.

“Being in love has a calming effect. After people fall in love and are in love, their resting heart rates tend to be much lower,” he says. Plus, studies show that couples involved in lasting, loving relationships live longer than those who aren’t.

As for heart health, Moss says, “it’s much better to fall in love and stay in love than to never fall in love at all.” But, he does mention that the most dangerous type of love is unrequited: “These people keep falling in love but don’t experience the long-term benefits of being in love.”

Causes Of Unrequited Love

This quickly happens when we feel in ‘scarcity mode.’ We meet someone who ticks a few boxes (i.e., pleasant, attractive, innovative), and over time we fill in the blanks and build a fantasy image of them in which they represent our version of total perfection. The classic victim of unrequited love is the person who spends all of their time dreaming up ways to win over the object of their affection or scheming about how they can find excuses to be alone with him and try to adapt themselves to his likes and dislikes to become perfect for him.

People who frequently fall into unrequited love often hope that their crush will ‘fix’ certain areas lacking in their own life. This is also known as the “wanting to be saved” syndrome – it happens when we latch onto people because they show us attention and perhaps because they embody certain qualities we want in ourselves.

Effects of Unrequited love
Love is a beautiful feeling, but the pain that ensues can be some of the worst pain a person will ever feel. If you think it will help you move on and get over him by telling him how you feel, then do it. But if I were you, I would try to get over him altogether, block him on social media, so you’re not tempted to look at his updates and delete his number and try to forget to get him. Time is the only thing that will make you feel better, but going back and focusing on what-ifs is like picking a scab, and you won’t heal, and you’ll drive yourself crazy about it. Try to block him out of your life, and one day when you’re not even looking, you’ll meet someone who will get you and understand who you are and love you unconditionally, and you’ll look back at this guy, and in your mind, you’ll say, “what was I thinking” Unrequited love always seems like the worst.

Share your comments to help other unrequited lovers know it’s not just them!

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Janene Kitzrow
3 years ago

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