3 Ways Love Can Literally Drive You Crazy

Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 11:37:50-05

It turns out that love may not be as mysterious as we would like to think.  Not only can love be pin-pointed down to a science, the chemicals that make the brain crazy in love are the same ones that cause addiction and psychological disorders.

Here are 3 ways love unleashes a crazy chemistry class in our brain:

1.  Love Looks A Lot Like Addiction, If You're A Scientist

Dopamine stimulates the brain in love, the same way nicotine and cocaine do.

Doctor Stephanie Cacioppo studies how the brain orchestrates relationships. “Love activates brain areas that feed addiction that is true. However, it's not the only brain area that's activated. Love activates a bigger area of the brain, which is why it still has a rational side,” Cacioppo reveals.


2. Love Can Literally Make Us Crazy

Blood tests on couples in love revealed serotonin levels equal to those in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients.  Serotonin is a mood stabilizer -- a lack of it is linked to clinical depression. Where too much of it can be

“What's the difference between love and psychosis? They both can disturb thoughts. The difference is that one can make life heaven, and the other can make one hell,” says Cacioppo.


3. The "Love Hormone" Oxytocin Gives You A Lot Of Those Can't-Live-Without-You Feelings

“We do manipulate other people's chemicals when we interact with them,” says  Dr. Larry Young. Young is a neuroscientist who studies social bonding and love. He's led research on oxytocin's role in love, which is the hormone released during intimate moments between partners.

“We know looking into the eyes of another person can cause the release of oxytocin, or touching in a certain way,” Young points-out.

And no, texting won't do it – in-person only. 

Ah, love. We’ve got it down to a science.