Is love an addiction? | Helen Fisher | Big Think

Is love an addiction? | Helen Fisher | Big Think

I have long felt that romantic love was an
addiction. It’s got so many of the characteristics
of addiction. The focused attention, the obsessive thinking,
the absolute craving, the willingness to do dangerous and inappropriate things to win
somebody. Somebody’s camping in your head. It is an obsession and we were finally able
to prove that romantic love does activate basic brain regions linked with all of the
addictions. In fact romantic love triggers brain regions
that are regularly triggered for cocaine addiction but for all of the addictions some of these
brain circuits some of these brain circuits become active including romantic love. Romantic love can be a wonderful addiction
when it’s going well and a perfectly horrible addiction when it’s going poorly. There are some differences between addiction
to a person and addiction to a drug. Generally, you know, when you finally get
off drugs you don’t kill yourself after you’re off the drug. A great many people really suffer after they’ve
been rejected in love. The amount of stalking, clinical depression,
suicide, homicide and all sorts of other crimes of passion are simply because somebody is
addicted, love addicted, to somebody else. I would even call romantic addiction and attachment
addiction as the mothers of all current modern addictions. And in fact I think that the modern addictions
like cocaine or heroin or cigarettes or nicotine or things – are hijacking this ancient human
brain circuitry for a positive addiction for romantic love. Not everybody gets addicted to cocaine or
to heroin or to cigarettes or even to food or gambling. Everybody at some time in their life has been
addicted to love, you know. None of us get out of love alive. We all have tremendous joy and really often
sometimes some tremendous sorrow.


  1. So basically what she’s saying is that all people have experience drug problems at some time in their life?? Therefore, We are all drug addicts!!!!

  2. But Envy is what drives us in every aspect of life, and we don't even realize it. That's the most powerful addiction, and Love stems from Envy.

  3. Yes lol. I was actually thinking that love looks so much like a drug. And maybe that is way more rooted in reality than we thought.

  4. Man, it happened to me when I was 19

    I met this girl, I left

    Then I realized I can't leave; like, something slowly took over everything and after 5 to 6 months I finally admitted it: looks like I had feelings for the girl

    Now? To be honest, I don't even like her very much now that I know her better, but at the same time I feel like I can't stay away. And even though I have said this to her, whenever-after a good while- I get the feels and try to contact her she responds and we go out

    It's been more than 4 years now, and I have never cared for anybody ever since, and before

  5. Having been a social worker to aid those who's loved ones were lost in war an those who committed suicide after finding out their partner had found happiness with someone who was not as attractive an beutiful and infact was down right ugly !!! I remained Single! Always jelous of those who were married to their best friend an respected each other who had based their relationship on something more than artistic sexual intercourse . If there is someone out here that is really ugly an has some money, I am the one you are looking for an l also am a hobby cook as well an make the best cookies in town an have guns that will protect your space 24/7 , just look me up !!!!

  6. Maybe but I think our evolution as hunter gatherers lends to the constant need for fulfillment and without the act of constant searching and hunting we are left with a void to fill.

  7. You know well what I want to say now.
    But instead, I'm going to ask this: what happened to my comment of yesterday?

  8. People involved with the public should all be fulfilling the basic principles of public life. Like myself, I shouldn't be required and yet still I'm doing it out of fckn character. It's the biggest reason, cheap-minded people in charge, mocking.

  9. Most definitely.
    It’s the strongest drug for sure and some people like the pain of breakups as much as falling in love again.

  10. I have the worst withdrawals after serious breakups it feels like you’re dying.
    Literally half of you is being torn away.

    I have much smaller withdrawals just being apart when the peak falling in Love is in full affect, you want to be together all the time and it’s the best.

  11. Gotta to love yourself as well. Thats very important. The love we have and can give is very special. Your love is phenomenal to whoever reads this ^_^

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