There are a lot of pop songs that like to compare love to a drug. You feel hooked as soon as you see that person and spend time with them up to the point where you feel you cannot stop thinking about them even after a breakup. By learning how the brain works when you first fall in love, you will see that first love can psychologically stay with you the same way a drug can.

What Happens to Your Brain When You First Fall in Love?

According to Harvard Medical School research, oxytocin gets released which is responsible for feelings of attachment. Dopamine is also released which activates the reward pathways in the brain. This is how love can be like addiction in that we need this person in our lives. It does not matter if the relationship is unhealthy or dangerous. The more you are with them, the more you feel rewarded. Norepinephrine is released when you first fall in love which causes you to feel energized and euphoric the same way a drug would. This study proves that love can give our brains chemical feedback which drives our motivation to stay in love. 

Why Does Our First Love Stay With Us?

The first time that you fell in love, you were experiencing positive emotions that you have never experienced before. Your hormones positively increased and all of the negative emotions you previously experienced went away. The same works with drugs when you are feeling anxiety or depression and you self-medicate with drugs. Romance, itself, can be used as a self-medication tool. You may have experienced your first love when you were younger and your brain was still developing. This can end up changing the way you view people and yourself during this confusing time when you are still trying to figure everything out. 

Just like how drug use comes with triggers, the same goes for love. You may have gotten out of an unhealthy relationship, but still feel triggered when you hear a song or you see a photo of that person on social media. All of those old feelings come back to you and you still want to be with them despite all of the reasons not to. It is important to be aware of your mental health when experiencing first love to avoid any unhealthy feelings you may carry onto future relationships.

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.