Many people describe the love as a state of transient mental derangement, which leads those who feel it to perform certain crazy things that would never cross their minds if they were not invaded by this deep feeling.
The sensations to which children are exposed could be described in the same way. addicts to substances such as drugs or actions such as gambling or shopping, so there are those who believe that love can become another form of addiction.
However, proponents of the concept of romantic love consider this theory an atrocity, which compares the most beautiful and pure feeling that exists with something as taboo as the drug addiction o la gambling. But what happens then? Can love really reach the point of considering itself capable of creating addiction? In order to provide an answer to this question, a team of researchers from the Oxford University Neuroethics Center has carried out a review of all the scientific studies on love and addiction developed between 1,956 and 2,016 and its conclusions, which have been published in Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, can be very useful from the point of view of the psychology and the neurosciences.
Love is in the brain
If he love It is a wonderful feeling, but that does not mean that it ceases to be pure chemistry, resulting from a cocktail of substances that are released in the brain when two people create that kind of emotional bond.
One of these brain substances is dopamine, a neurotransmitter known for actively participating in the production of the feeling of pleasure, in a process guided by the reward mechanisms.
These mechanisms are activated by exaggerated shape in addicted people, causing them the urgent need to repeat the actions that caused their addiction in order to relive that feeling of pleasure.
Many of the studies analyzed in this review showed that love generates these imbalances in relationships. reward systems, so it could be conceived as causing addiction.
Two levels of addiction
According to the researchers responsible for the study, this addiction could be considered two types, according to the level of “severity”.
On the one hand, there are people who experience such a sensation of pleasure that they are unable to be single and, when they finally manage to find a partner after a breakup, they begin to develop obsessive behaviors that can lead to ill-treatment and even end in murder.
This level of addiction creates social decline very similar to substance abuse addicts and should be treated, not only for their sake, but also for the sake of Your partners.
On the other hand, there are people who do not become obsessed, but do suffer from a great need to be with a partner, so suffer even more with the breakups and they even stay a long time in very toxic relationships as long as not to return to singleness.
Can love be cured?
One of the most iconic romantic films of the last decades is Forget about me, a story starring Kate Winslet y Jim Carrey in which the two members of a couple ask a professional to erase the other from their memory in order to to forget the stormy relationship they had lived together.
At the moment this practice is still only part of the fiction, but there have been cases of researchers who have tried to find a way to alleviate the immense pain resulting from the end of a relationship.
And the perfect model organism to investigate this is the prairie dog, since they are clearly animals monogamous, who spend their entire lives united to a single partner, to the point of getting involved in bloody battles between males in order to defend their partners.
These strong emotional ties are established by the action of a hormone known as vasopresina, on which many researchers have focused their attention in recent years; since, if these animals are injected with a antagonist, blocking its effect, they stop feeling attachment to their partners and they begin the search for a different one.
So far these experiments have not gone beyond prairie dogs, but it would be perfect if they could be applied in the future in humans, since it would be a way of eliminating the emptiness that everyone, whether addicted or not, feels when they just left a sentimental relationship.
Unfortunately, until this, or what happens in Forget about meIf possible, you will have to settle for forgetting little by little that special person. And, above all, keep mobile phones away in case you have consumed a few too many drinks. After a breakup they can be very dangerous.