The Addictive Power of Bliss

Posted by on 02 20 12 in Love Addiction News | Comments Off on The Addictive Power of Bliss

Can love make you sick? Psychologically speaking, the initial state of bliss common at the beginning of a new relationship involves a surge of rapture and extreme pleasure the individual may want to continue to seek to create.

According to a piece in Psychology Today, this bliss is often felt in combination with love, sensory or sexual pleasure, in anticipation of intense excitement or even in a state of meditation. The craving to recreate the experience can be intense.

Research in this field suggests there is an association between an attraction that triggers bliss and altered brain chemistry. People may feel increased dopamine or norepinephrine levels, as well as decreased serotonin levels. These altered levels are reportedly returned to normal states between six and 18 months into an established relationship.

When the bliss experienced as a result of the relationship vanishes, the person involved may seek other avenues to achieve the same high. In the process, he or she may engage in distracted or obsessive thinking. Such individuals often seek counseling when they desire to be with the object of their obsession that is either unavailable or uninterested.

Others may seek to satisfy that bliss through affairs and other sexual encounters outside of a healthy relationship. The author of the Psychology Today piece, Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., believes that the situations surrounding blissful love can generate physical and emotional illness in some patients.

Dr. Lamia goes so far as to suggest that those in intensely blissful, yet conflicted relationships are more likely to struggle with addictions and relapse. While she has not conducted a structured study to support her theories, she points to the power of addictions to mask the true pain of a relationship.

Bliss is often referred to in the positive, as a state sought by many. For those unable to live outside of the state, it can be a trigger for addiction.