Is Love a Mental Illness?

February 14, 2007

losing mindThe Wall Street Journal

“The brain system involved in romantic love is powerful,” says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at New Jersey’s Rutgers University who has led much of the research into love’s impact on the brain. “Everything that is going on in the brain, everything that happens with romantic love has a chemical basis.”

Using brain scans to study emotional changes is still a new science. But the images signal the potential toll of relationship problems. “It’s not a good combination,” notes Dr. Fisher. “You’re feeling intense romantic love, you’re willing to take big risks, you’re in physical pain, obsessively thinking about a person and you’re struggling to control your rage. You’re not operating with your full range of cognitive abilities. It’s possible that part of the rational mind shuts down.”

The dramatic changes evident on the brain scans may help explain bizarre behavior that is often associated with love. It can also help explain why marital problems are such a serious health worry. Studies show that people in troubled relationships are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and high blood pressure.

Well, that explains a lot!

Happy Valentines day!

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37 Responses to “Is Love a Mental Illness?”

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