What is Love Addiction?Love Addicts are often women who have experienced abandonment as children in the form of divorce, death, a workaholic parent, a depressed parent, or an emotionally unavailable caregiver. As children, they create a fantasy world in order to fill the void of the missing emotional support and intimacy. The Love Addict continues to create this fantasy in her adult life leading to a pattern of intense, fantasy-based relationships. This is the “I’m in love, cancel everything” syndrome.
Signs of Love AddictionWithdrawal from love addiction is often painful and can feel worse than withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. The feelings of pain, anger, loneliness, shame, sadness, despair, frustration, and confusion can be overwhelming.
It can also cause the escalation of obsessive behaviors, such as constantly checking a partner’s social media page, looking through wallets and cell phone records, driving by their house, and asking friends for information about the person’s recent activity.
Love addicts will often try to soothe their extremely uncomfortable and painful feeling by self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, food, sexual behaviors or any other substance or behavior that creates the feeling of escape or distraction. This can also include disordered eating, shopping, sleeping, excessive computer use or TV watching, excessive exercising, unmanaged depression, gambling, alcohol or drugs, etc.