When does a feeling stop being healthy and become a problem? There are clinical cases of obsession with love that need treatment.
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It is correct to say that for everything there is a limit – or there should be – and love is no exception. A loving obsession it exists and is already assumed by psychologists as a clinical condition that requires adequate treatment.
Love is not easy, nor can it be seen as a feeling to be experienced in the same way by different individuals. Each person interacts with the other according to the inner tools they have available, and their individual ability to see and experience the world. However, despite the different ways of loving, there is no doubt: there is a fine line that separates a healthy feeling from a non-standard feeling.
More than a feeling, a disease
That love is not an easy experience, we all know, but now scholars say that, in some cases, it can even be harmful and the reason is pathological.
Albert Wakina psychologist at the University of the Sacred Heart, in the United States, is in favor of all reflections around post-breakup depression.
After studying the subject a lot, Wakin has no qualms and says: there are love affairs that require medical intervention.
For the specialist, it is time for psychology to assume that there are cases of chronic passion that need to be seen, analyzed, diagnosed and treated with medical guidance.
Passion is to blame
“Passion”. As the dictionary of the Portuguese language assumes, it is a “live impression”, “disturbation or disordered movement of the spirit”, “ardent love”, “violent affection”. Also, according to the same source, it is a “great grief and regret”.
If the very etymological origin of the word has its roots in the verb “suffer”, how can you dispute the conclusion of the North American psychologist? Let the arguments that limit the explanation to its language of origin be denied from now on. In Greek, for example, the word passion was born from “pathos”, or pathology, for us Portuguese. For the Greeks, too, cases of passion must be seen through the perspective of medicine.
A colleague of Wakin’s, formerly installed in the same department as the psychologist, was also intrigued by the issues surrounding the theme and the origin of the word that so well defines the state of devotion that characterizes love.
In the mid-70s, Dorothy Tennov dedicated herself to studying the subject, interviewing more than 500 chronically passionate people. Until today, her efforts have gone unrecognized, and both neuroscience and psychology have refused to accept that infatuation can be both chronic and clinical.
It was the fellow scholar’s story that inspired Wakin to seek further clarification on the subject, reflecting on whether infatuation could be seen as a recognized disorder.
From Dorothy’s time until today, much has changed and surprising revelations have been made. The researchers Helen Fisher and Lucy Brown published a scientific article in which they claim to have discovered that passion is a drugin the most literal sense of the word.
For the scholars, the feeling activates reward mechanisms present in the brain, leaving the individual under the strong effect of dopaminewhich is nothing more than a chemical mediator that causes a feeling of euphoria and can cause addiction.
For Helen and Lucy, this is the reason that triggers a dependency relationship and makes the lover only be flooded with happiness when he is next to the loved one. The result is that being close to the one you love becomes a addiction.
Chemistry enters the discussion alongside the researchers, to say that interrupting a relationship that is at the height of passion is similar to depriving oneself of a drug that one is addicted to.
Dorothy Tennov, after all, established a theory that is not disposable, despite the little credibility that her study and book achieved at the time. The scientist, who died in 2007, gave all her notes to her son who, in turn, gave them to Wakin, who realized the urgency of rescuing her research.
Wakin says that after “four or six months of a healthy relationship, everything calms down, but in a relationship that is not considered normal, the need for the other person only intensifies.” It works like a snowball: the obsession ends up pushing away the object of desire and provoking the end of relationshipmaking the chronically passionate situation worse.
The psychologist even calculated the time that the person with love obsession spends thinking about the person he loves and concluded that the final value is around 95% the hours you are awake.
Love obsession is scientifically recognized
Now, with the conclusions proven through the research carried out by Wakin, science recognizes that the state of passion is related to chemical mechanisms of reward that provoke a cycle of addiction in the brain. Obsessive passion came to be documented as a systematic pathology and Wakin now conducts a series of experiments on the subject.
To clarify more about the mysterious subject, the scholar has resorted to equipment with resonance technology. The aim is to reach definitive answers and find ways to deal with the problem of lovers who suffer from obsession with love.
The scientific community is getting closer and closer to discovering the reason why the word passion appears related to “pain” and “suffering”.