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Addicted to Love

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, I thought it would be interesting to share some new research that suggests that there might be a biological reason why getting over a romantic break-up is so incredibly difficult. “Romantic love is an addiction” says Dr. Helen Fisher, a researcher a Rutgers University, who has recently discovered that getting over a romantic relationship is similar to kicking a drug habit.  In her study, she asked a  group of young college students who had recently experienced a break-up to look at pictures of their ex.  At the same time, she scanned their brains and what she found was outstanding.  The areas of the brain that lit up were the same as those corresponding to a drug addiction.  Let’s sit with this for a minute – being rejected by love and having a cocaine craving have similar effects on the brain.   So the next time you can’t figure out why you can’t stop ruminating over your ex, remind yourself that you are in withdrawal.  The good news is that time can lessen this effect and there are good cognitive and interpersonal strategies that can help rewire your brain to help you move on.