Healthy love, obsessive love

Written by: Silvia García Graullera
Edited by: Top Doctors®

When a person is in love , he / she lives one of the most positive emotional states that can live, although evidently it has to be reciprocal. Thus, in this emotional state, the person invades a set of positive feelings such as joy, excitement, excitement or sensuality, among others.On more than one occasion, this stage of love has been defined as a sort of transient mental illness , and in a way, people become obsessed and disturbed by the object of desire.So when a person falls in love, a combination of hormones similar to those produced when an obsessive-compulsive disorder or an addiction occurs. On the one hand, the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine increase (thus producing an effect similar to that of amphetamines), and on the other, it decreases the level of serotonin, taking these low levels of serotonin to a repetitive thought, which explains the obsession with the other. 

Thus, it could be said that falling in love is a transient obsessive state in which: 

  • The thought in the loved one becomes uncontrollable 
  • There is a tendency to idealize the person, producing a distortion of reality 
  • There is a loss of concentration, since all thought focuses on the object of desire 
  • Symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite may appear ... 

Thus, the infatuation produces diverse sensations like the enthusiasm, joy, vitality, optimism ... a kind of addiction. In the words of Helen Fisher, anthropologist and researcher on the biology of falling in love, we are in love when someone "camping in our head."If the relationship evolves, falling in love becomes love, in which the bond becomes more secure and rational, appearing a more solid and sincere love. But what if instead of evolving towards a healthy love , it becomes an obsession ?

We must differentiate healthy love and obsessive love

Obsessive Love

We must differentiate love from obsession. One makes the person happy, the other does not.. However, in most cases, it is difficult for the person to recognize that their love is obsessive, being "normal" to state that it is a pure and true love, although there are a number of characteristics that show that there is a problem. Thus, in this pathological love there is a loss of control, in which intrusive thoughts appear and moods may vary depending on how the relationship with the other person is perceived.In turn, there is a need to be in permanent contact with the other person, and there is a feeling of inner emptiness before the absence of the loved one, appearing worry and anxiety when you are away from the couple. In addition, there is a loss of interest for leisure activities with which you previously enjoyed, and there may be a distance between the person and his friends and / or family.In addition, there are feelings such as jealousy, distrust and fear of abandonment. At the behavioral level, obsessive control behaviors can occur, such as constant demands for attention, manipulation, and attempts to control. In addition, there are often attempts to isolate the person from their friends and family; thus losing the individual's individuality, becoming the couple the axis of their existence.These behaviors will usually make the couple start to feel bad, and the person will feel more anxiety and insecurity. Psychological treatment by a specialist in psychology is fundamental to overcome a problem that has traces of addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder. If it is treated early, it will be possible to redirect the relationship before it fails. If the relationship has already ended or has not started, the patient will need help to overcome this loss in a healthy way and not relapse into this type of relationship in future relationships.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Silvia García Graullera

The outstanding psychologist Silvia García is the director of the Center for Applied Scientific Psychology (PSICIA) and is an expert in anxiety, social phobia and couples therapy, among others. He combines his professional work with teaching, practicing as a professor in the Psychology degree.

He has collaborated in publications on social phobia and has been widely trained for the evaluation, diagnosis and individual treatment of various psychological disorders.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

TOPDOCTORS utiliza cookies propias y de terceros para facilitar su experiencia como usuario de nuestra web y captar datos estadísticos mediante el análisis de sus datos de navegación. Si usted continúa con la navegación, entendemos que nos ofrece su consentimiento para el uso de cookies. Puede cambiar la configuración de cookies u obtener más información here.