Is Love Sickness Really an Illness?

We’ve all been love sick one time or another! Usually when you hear the term ‘love sickness’ you think of someone who’s dealing with unreciprocated love and is just feeling all blue and down, or maybe someone who’s completely head over heels. But could it be that love sickness isn’t simply a figure of speech? I mean, the word ‘sickness’ may be there for a reason, right? So, there could be something more to it, which brings us to the question – is love sickness really and actual illness?

Just looking at the psychological aspect of love you could notice some stuff people do for love that would kind of classify the state of being in love with a mental illness.

Yeah you read that right – it’s like Plato said – Love is a mental disease! Why you ask?

Well, given the fact that the fraction of the brain used to decipher love is actually quite tiny (tiny like we use our brain way more when we’re driving a car or something) it’s no wonder people would do some crazy things for love. Yes, being in that state of love can actually get in the way of cognitive thinking and lead us to act in ways we probably wouldn’t act if we hadn’t been so enamored.

So, in that sense, no matter how harsh it may sound, you could say love can be something like a mental illness.

Furthermore love is very chemical. When you’re in love your body creates lots and lots of dopamine which causes a very strong chemical response. This and the other hormones this feeling produces, like oxytocin, vasopressin and others, are what’s causing the constant need to be around the one you love.

You almost become addicted to the feeling you get when you’re around that person because being around them gets your brain to produce all those happiness hormones.

But what about the physical aspect of being in love, and being love sick? Well, that’s exactly it! The sudden intensity of what you’re feeling (with all those love chemicals flooding your brain all of a sudden) when you first fall in love, or the withdrawal you go through when it all stops is what’s causing you to feel lovesick! With physical symptoms and all! And these symptoms range from clammy hands and fry mouth to clumsiness, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat, tearfulness etc.

Generally speaking the feeling of being lovesick or love-struck is usual during first stages of love. Eventually, when the relationship becomes a long-term one, your body kind of builds up resistance to dopamine and the other hormones. Now, this does not mean that at this point the love is gone – it just means that from this point on it’s a much smoother ride. This is that moment where some couples develop an even more stable relationship, or, start having troubles.

If on the other hand you’re feeling lovesick because of a love lost you’ll just have to go through withdrawal – no matter how gruesome it may feel. The only real medicine for this illness is – time.

The symptoms may be grueling, so, if you feel like there’s need to, psychotherapy. It’s not so rare you hear that someone has lost their life just months after losing a loved one. Dying of a broken heart is not as ‘fairytale’ as it sounds, and in some extreme cases being lovesick can take a huge physical toll on the body. In these cases, being lovesick should be taken very seriously.