The narrow view: addiction as the kenntniserlangung of abnorm brain processes

The oberste dachkante approach counts only the most extreme cases (or phases) of love and love-related behaviors as being moglichkeit instances of addiction

While the specific spirit of hypothese parallels has been described in inconsistent language throughout the literature, two main approaches to conceptualizing the relationship between love and addiction can beryllium usefully teased passe. Research hinein this vein focuses on sexual compulsions, paedophilia, toxic or abusive relationships, abweichend attachments and unhealthy tolerance of negative life- and relationship outcomes (basis des naturlichen logarithmus.g., Carnes 2005; Reynaud et leichtmetall. 2010).

The second approach takes a wohnhaft gegen view, and counts even “normal” romantic passions as being chemically and behaviorally analogous to addiction (eulersche konstante.g., Fisher et aluminium. 2010; Burkett and Young, 2012). Studies in this vein emphasize the commonality between the experience of someone under the influence of certain drugs and the quite ordinary experience of someone bei love-including her “focused attention” on a preferred individual, “mood swings, craving, obsession, compulsion, distortion of reality, emotional dependence, personality changes, risk-taking, and loss of self-control” (Fisher et leichtmetall. 2010, 51). Burkett and Young (2012, 1) go so far as to defend the hypothesis that beginners all purpose symbolic instruction code social attachment – covering the whole course of love-based relationships from einweihung to break-up – may be understood as a gute of behavioral addiction “whereby the subject becomes addicted to another individual and the cues that predict social reward.”

Within the following sections, we glanzleistung some of the latest thinking on the nature of romantic love considered as eingeschaltet addiction, drawing on behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies of both love and addiction. By doing sic, we hope to give a taster of, as well as to clarify, the existing evidence bei favor of hypothese differing accounts. Following that, we will attempt to explore some of the ethik and practical implications that beginning to emerge once we recognize that:

Along the way, we will entertain some possible objections to our views, as well as offer ur replies

Ur main thesis will beryllium that on either understanding of love-as-addiction, there welches a wohnhaft reasonable case to be larve that, in some instances, “treatment” of love could beryllium justified or even desirable. We will also argue that respecting the lovers’ autonomy should be paramount hinein any treatment decision.

Although scholarly attitudes have been shifting inside recent years, the dominant modell of addictive drug use-among neuroscientists and psychiatrists, at least-had been that drugs are addictive because they gradually elicit abnorm, unnatural patterns of function in the menschengerecht brain (Foddy and Savulescu 2010). On this ‘narrow’ view of addiction, addictive behaviors are produced by brain processes that simply do leid exist within the brains of nicht-addicted persons. 2

One especially popular fassung of this view holds that drugs ‘co-opt’ neurotransmitters as part of the brain to create signals of reward that dwarf the strength of ‘natural rewards’ such as food or pimpern. They thereby produce patterns of learning and cellular akkommodation [fachsprachlich] in the brain that could never beryllium produced without drugs (e.g. Volkow et aluminium. 2010). According to this strict account, then, addictive drug-seeking had been in betrieb aberrant qualitat of behavior that ended up being peculiar to drug addicts, both fit and in underlying function. Informationstechnologie follows that natural rewards like food and love can never beryllium truly addictive, and that food-seeking or love-seeking behaviors are elend truly the kenntniserlangung of addiction, no matter how addiction-like they may outwardly appear.

Other researchers, however, have noted appreciable behavioral similarities between singleportale binge-eaters (for example) and drug users, and have flagged a growing body of evidence that was suggestive of neurological similarities as well (Foddy 2011). Sweet food, to take ohne rest durch zwei teilbar one example, can elicit a reward zeichen bei the brain as strong as the reward from a typical mose of cocaine (Lenoir et leichtmetall. 2007). In addition, informationstechnik can even induce-tora least bei rats-a withdrawal syndrome as strong as that induced by heroin (Avena et leichtmetall. 2007). If aktiv illicit drug like cocaine, therefore, can produce ‘abnormal’ brain processes by providing abnormal and chronic reward, then dass might angeschaltet abnormally high natural reward, like the reward one gets from bingeing on food, or from experiencing unusually strong or frequent feelings of love. Given mutma?ung considerations, a wohnhaft more plausible ‘narrow’ view of love addiction would fest that one can indeed be addicted to love, but only if behauptung abnorm brain processes are present.