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Unrequited Love and Infatuation

Unrequited Love and Infatuation.

Limerence or infatuated love is a state of mind resulting from unrequited love. Although most people feel intense euphoria and experience the release of dopamine, oxytocin, and elevated levels of testosterone and oestrogen at the beginning of a relationship, these hormone levels eventually return to normal after six to twenty-four months. However, those who suffer from limerence are permanently trapped in this stage of euphoria and their cognitions and behavior become obsessive and compulsive.

Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term “limerence” in her 1979 book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love, to describe a concept that evolved from her extensive research on the subject in the mid-1960s. Over 500 people were interviewed for this research.

Tennov says that distance intensifies limerence and makes the limerent do anything possible to be around their beloved and overcome any obstacle to stay close to them. This also makes them imagine certain actions of the limerent object (LO) to be especially favourable and meant only for them. They even cook stories in their mind with those thoughts and tend to draw fabricated inferences from the words of their beloved. Scholars suggest that Limerence can happen to anyone- this includes all age groups, both genders, and those from various socioeconomic levels. One of the most effective approaches to eradicating limerence is to completely disconnect from the ex-paramour.

Limerence makes an individual become attracted to another person, generally of the opposite gender and typically includes obsessive behaviour and thoughts, desire and fantasies to initiate or maintain a relationship with the object of unrequited love, and have those feelings reciprocated. a combination of medication and therapy to combat symptoms of Limerence. Although recovery research on this condition is relatively inchoate Those who are impacted can enter treatment involving cognitive behavioral therapy as well as take antidepressants, which inhibit the part of the brain that is responsible for obsessive compulsive behaviour.

Although the medication and therapy are providing promising results, the leading experts on Limerence ascertain that usually individuals suffer Limerence for three to five years. However, in some cases Limerence can last for decades. There was a lover who suffered from limerence for nearly 60 years. Until 2012, it was not recognized in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, however, researchers were hoping that the condition would be added to the manual soon.

The condition of Limerence is ripe with room for dialogue. First and foremost, is this an actual condition or are we merely giving people an excuse for letting their thoughts go into overdrive? Secondly, since some antidepressant medications have shown to work in inhibiting the obsessive thoughts, is Limerence actually an extension or unique sub-type of depression? Can disconnecting from the person of interest really eliminate these maladaptive symptoms?

It is also possible that this condition is an exacerbation of an anxious style of attachment. Lastly, although it is possible to impact both genders, I imagine that there is a large disparity between the behaviour of men and women in limerence. According to researchers, brain-imaging research as well as screening devices are currently underway to further delineate our understanding of Limerence. This condition is widely misunderstood and misinterpreted and that further empirical research is in progress to yield a more comprehensive understanding of this condition. He notes that there are several parallels between Limerence and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Substance Dependence and future research should illuminate these similarities. Furthermore, it is imperative that individuals do not equate “infatuation” with “Limerence” as the two are distinct experiences and although euphoria may play a role in both, it is Limerence that leads to deleterious consequences, whereas more pleasant emotions are derived from “infatuation.”

Whether one is experiencing the beginning stages of love, or walking along the more perilous tightrope of Limerence, both experiences deserve future attention and research. To reference another distinguished expert on the power of love, Celine Dion, if you find yourself sitting in your parked car in the pouring rain all by yourself during nights when the wind was so cold, wondering if someone is your strength when you are weak, have no fear. Your heart will go on, unless of course you begin to experience heart palpitations and dry-heaving, then it may be time to investigate exactly which L-word you are suffering from.

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