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Love and Relationship Addiction

As we have just passed the Valentine’s Day holiday, it might be good to look at that often misunderstood emotion of love.  Is love really felt in the heart, or is it the brain that allows us to “feel” this emotion?  To unwrap this mystery, I am Dr. Todd Freestone, back in a minute.

 

All of our training and talk since we were very little tells us that love is experienced in the heart, but what we know about love is that it really is experienced in the brain.  When we become attracted to someone, we begin to experience a cascade of neuro-chemicals.  These chemicals all have specific purposes.  Adrenalin is designed to make your heart race and the blood pressure rise.  This chemical is designed to arouse us.  Oxytocin is the chemical that produces bonding.  It is produced when physical touch to the skin or hair happens from another person.  Phenal ethyl amin or (PEA) is produced also from touch and produces the butterflies in the stomach and the giddiness associated with the sight of a loved one.  Remember that these feelings are much more associated with novelty, and will die out after no longer than 2 years.  Real love is not about those feelings that are fleeting, but going though the daily trials of life and learning about your mates true commitment to you despite the dirty socks and left up toilet seats.  For Focus on the Mind, this is Dr. Todd Freestone.

 © 2013 The Institute For Research And Treatment Of Addictive Disorders