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Why you weren’t thinking clearly when you fell for the sociopath

narcissist loveRomantic love really does wreak havoc on your brain chemistry. In fact, love has pretty much the same effect on your brain as cocaine.

Berit Brogaard has written a book called On Romantic Love: Simple Truths about a Complex Emotion. Brogaard writes:

When you fall in love with someone, norepinephrine fills you with raucous energy, serotonin boosts your self-confidence, and dopamine generates a feeling of pleasure. New love is a kind of love addiction but not yet a kind of pathological love addiction. In falling in love, however, the brain is on crack—a dangerous state of mind.

An excerpt from the book was published on Salon.com. It explains, in detail, how parts of the brain are affected by the chemical neurotransmitters of love. Essentially, you are primed to do really stupid things. Brogaard writes:

When the systems of neurotransmitters in our brain destabilize during the early phases of a romantic relationship, our moods become unsteady too. And so does our ability to think rationally and make wise decisions. When you become truly infatuated with a person, you might make decisions you wouldn’t dream of making in a sane state of mind. Nothing really matters compared to the object of your infatuation. In extreme cases, we might max out credit cards, leave our families, move across oceans, abdicate a throne, rob banks, or even commit murder for the sake of love.

Read the article:

Love is like cocaine: The remarkable, terrifying neuroscience of romance, on Salon.com.

 



2 Comments on "Why you weren’t thinking clearly when you fell for the sociopath"

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  1. juliet says:

    Dear Donna and Friends,

    I’ve never sniffed cocaine, but I’ve been foolishly captivated by a sociopath with whom I became sexually bonded within just forty-eight hours! In just six weeks I miraculously lost twenty-five pounds! Post traumatic stress has brought every pound back, plus an extra five, but I’m free of the pain and misery of unrequited love. It’s taken six years to get back, yet I still dream of him.
    Beware. They are out there.



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  2. I found this article in Slate to be very powerful. It goes a long way towards explaining why our behavior when we’re in love feels so out of control – it is! Love wreaks havoc on our brain structure and chemistry – even when it’s authentic love. Of course, when we fall in love with a sociopath, we don’t know that it’s a fake love until later, after the devastation. So we’re still subject to all those neurological changes.



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