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Is love a mental illness?

What happens in lovers’ organisms?

The comparison of love for mental illness (made by psychologist Stuart Sutherland) is, of course, an exaggerated joke. The fact is, however, that for many years there have been attempts of scientific, “medical” explanation of the state of love. What is happening to us, we are not sleeping, we have trouble concentrating and we have no appetite? Why is it so difficult for us to function and think at school or at work? Where are the moods coming from? Why do we not care about anything and only think about this one person?



During the research and observations made on two groups – in love and not – of volunteers, scientists discovered fascinating things. The “normal functioning” of the body changes when you fall in love. In the brains of people experiencing love, there are processes that are also observed in people with the neurotic behavior of disease (very simplified neurosis is a kind of neurosis, hypersensitivity). Of course, this does not mean that love is a disease.

In the body of a person in love, however, there are strange chemical reactions responsible for the physical symptoms of falling in love.

Chemistry of love

In love, as research has shown, two chemicals produced by the human body are a huge role: serotonin and dopamine. Jokingly summing their influence on the lovers, one can say that the first one is too few and the other too much.

The lack of concentration is caused by a rapid and quite drastic decrease in serotonin, a substance that is a “neurotransmitter”. What does it mean? A shortage of serotonin causes disturbances in the mutual “conversation” of nerve cells. It is as if our head did not know what the hand was doing, and the hand had no idea what the head was going to do.

Total mess. We feel confused and fall into extreme moods. Hence, the balance of the nervous system is disturbed. Humanly speaking: we lack a calming component in the body. The proper level of serotonin affects healthy and restful sleep, protects against depression. Lovers are therefore vulnerable to insomnia and depression.

At the same time, serotonin deficiency is associated with an increased amount of dopamine, which in turn regulates hormones and also influences our emotions. We have too much of this component, which increases emotions. This dopamine is co-responsible for the fact that we love “to death and life”.

Lovers know what obsessive thoughts and moods are

Man, under the influence of feelings, ceases to control his body, and it is difficult for him to control his emotions. He feels alternately happiness and anxiety. When the lover’s state of love passes, the level of dopamine and serotonin in the brain reach their previous state, and the raging emotions calm down.

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