Love addiction lacks a high profile in society, but this does not mean that it is any less damaging to its sufferers. Only now is awareness beginning to grow about this crippling behavioral affliction. Hopefully this new awareness will help those suffering in silence to come forward to seek help.It was only last year that major newspapers and radio programmes started to address love addiction. Before that, many people were skeptical about whether you could be ‘addicted’ to love. The skeptics suggested that we simply struggle differently both in and out of relationships. Indeed, it’s good to know that we all have different coping methods and means of healing ourselves, but some of us need a little help. The large numbers of people seeking this help is clear, and evidence that love addiction is very much a real problem.
One addict, Laura, spoke out last year when she was interviewed by the BBC. Laura could understand people’s skepticism, because she had been in the same position herself. She said, ‘I would've said the same thing a couple of years ago....’What a load of rubbish’, but unless you've actually been in it, you don't know.’ She ended by saying that to fully understand, you not only ‘need to experience the pain of it,’ but ‘the pain of coming out of it’ too.
Of course, this is the difficulty with all addictions, and one of the main reasons why addicts suffer. When someone is dependent upon a substance, material or not, they feel as though they have no one to talk to because no one can understand. Love addiction is isolating, and even more so than other dependencies. The reason? Because unlike other addictions, people are still skeptical about whether love addiction is a reality.
The truth is, love addiction is a type of compulsive disorder based on and around relationships. It often stems from experiences in childhood, such as the fear of abandonment or a general lack of nurturing. Traumas such as rejection, isolation, lack of love and not having needs met are all possible root causes. When these experiences occur in childhood, the child learns unhealthy ways of relating to others, and can continue this way into adulthood.
Love addiction is a very real problem, but something that can be treated. Unfortunately, unlike other addictions, you cannot simply stop taking your substance. Relationships are a part of life, and you have to relearn the way you form and maintain them. However, by finding and healing the root cause of your problem, you can find a positive way to move forward.