Infatuation and the Human Body

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Infatuation and the Human Body

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Infatuation is an obsessive focus on one particular person. How does it work from a scientific point of view? The neurobiological effects of infatuation have been researched and identified. Dr. Pat Love writes:

"The infatuation syndrome is truly an example of Mother Nature at her finest. All the predictable behaviors that accompany that falling-in-love experience are brought on by a naturally orchestrated, drastic change in brain chemistry. When you meet a strong candidate for love, your limbic system is flooded with a powerful chemical concoction—so powerful that scientists now believe that the euphoria of infatuation is a bona fide, altered state of consciousness. It is induced by the action of phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neurotransmitter. When we come into contact with a person who highly attracts us, our brain becomes saturated with a love cocktail comprised of PEA and several other excitatory neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine.

"PEA, known as the 'love molecule,' works in concert with dopamine and norepinephrine and triggers incredible side effects. Symptoms include a delightfully positive attitude, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, and loss of appetite. Increased concentrations of dopamine in the brain are associated with euphoria. Norepinephrine, which is chemically derived from dopamine, is generally associated with exhilaration, excessive energy, and other excitatory responses" (The Truth About Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever, 2001, pp. 28-29). GN