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Home > human nature > On Love: A biological addiction

On Love: A biological addiction

In regards to a romantic relationship, the question “Where are we going?” has nothing to do with the future. The rhetoric itself is irrelevant. The answer is or should always be, “I don’t know.” Things are going well if you’re not asking the question, if you are immersed with the present, if you are content.

I just had my first major relationship come to a depressing end. Normally, I wouldn’t be writing about in here; I had made a distinct mental effort to try to not let my personal life superimpose onto this blog. That’s what my livejournal is for. But I decided I should make exceptions when I want to comment on my behavior being more human than I would like.

You see, being in love, is lot like being a drug addict. Literally. Brain scans of people reportedly “in love” show heightened activity in areas that correlate to those of people on drugs. Informational article here: http://www.oxytocin.org/oxytoc/love-science.html

I think I have to admit: I’m an oxytocin and vasopressin junkie. Romantic human interaction produces palpable changes in the brain, and I’ve felt them for the last year of my life, the year I wasn’t single.

The break up may have been particularly hard on me because I’m clinically depressed but untreated– I’m one of those X million Americans without health insurance–so the “feel-good” chemicals associated with love became akin to a drug hit. I was, and unfortunately remain, quite addicted to my boyfriend.

Intellectually, I am not an emotional person. My emotional responses disagree. My actions are often nothing like I plan them out to be in my head. This discrepancy has been one of the worst truths in my life and created internal turmoil you wouldn’t belief.

As I begin my “love withdrawal” I find that I have a better understanding of not only myself, but of the relationships of those around me. When I was younger, I couldn’t logically fathom why people acted the way they do. And now I have experienced and realized: the reasons are often biological in basis.

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