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Unrequited Love and Cocaine

Unrequited Love and Cocaine.

Yes, you truly are addicted. I will tell you how!

We often read things like “Researchers are finding that love truly is an addiction.” Love, obviously, is not actually an addiction. It’s a drive maybe, or an inclination or a feeling, yet it works on lovers like cocaine. In any case, unrequited love, probably, regularly has an unmistakable physiological, physical, and emotional profile. When you begin to get all starry eyed, your hormones go completely haywire. The energizing, startling, practically paranormal and unusual components of love start flowing, from hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is the fear sensing part of limbic brain. It’s a tiny, almond-shaped part of the cerebrum, located in temporal lobe of the head. Study of Evolution suggests that it also existed in the bodies of our ancestors and developed millions of years before the neocortex, which is responsible for logical thinking and reasoning.

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.

unrequited love 29 June 16

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.

Despite the fact that unrequited love is connected with tension and anxiety, this state, mixed with hope of reciprocity 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. The brain remembers the intense pleasure and wants it repeated. While pleasurable activities normally are necessary to initiate addiction, overall less efficient pleasurable experiences, like watching a movie or smoking and reading are no longer able to satiate that desire and the addict is enticed to try a drug again

Similarly, increased levels of norepinephrine make the unrequited lovers reject any other individual who might show interest in them and they continue to seek only the person they secretly love, because it is only that particular individual’s thoughts that cause the cocaine-like effect and addiction in them. Increased levels of serotonin and dopamine makes them want to do something that will bring intense pleasure and the basic natural response of the body to this is increased sexual desire in unrequited love.

Addicted unrequited lover? Please share your story and i will add it to my future blogs.

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