Love Is A Helluva Drug: Cocaine And Love Have The Same Effect On The Brain

by Lauren Martin

Love is like … coming home. It’s like butterflies in your stomach. It’s like the recognition of your soul’s counterpart in another. It’s like the decrease in frontal lobe activity, an increase in dopamine levels and a decrease in serotonin levels.

Besides the numerous analogies we’ve come up with to describe exactly what love feels like, there is actual scientific evidence of its presence in your brain.

In a recent article published by Psychology Today, Shauna Springer, Ph.D, concludes that love is really just a scientifically measured reaction in the brain that causes many of us to have impaired judgment and paralyzed decision-making abilities.

It’s the influx of chemical levels and the paralysis of certain parts of the brain that cause us to feel the euphoria and the impaired judgement that come with falling in love.

For the last 20 years, Brown has been studying the effects of falling in love, including the ones that we don’t always want to talk about.

After comparing the brains of hundreds of people who were either in love or going through a break up, she concluded that love creates complete blindness, and an “almost complete paralysis of the decision-making system.”

When you fall in love, chemicals, like dopamine, decrease your ability to be discrete and sometimes create hallucinations alongside extreme euphoria (hence why women will plan an imaginary wedding with a man she’s known for just two days).

Not to mention, the way our brain views a photo of someone we love is the same type of reaction we have after using cocaine.

As many of us have experienced, falling in love is an addiction. Like gambling or drugs, it has addictive qualities that can hook you for life. It’s what creates longings and comedowns. It’s what creates those feeling of intense euphoria and deep depression.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine, like love, promotes increased levels of dopamine in the brain, causing you to feel moments of euphoria followed by the diminished number of dopamine receptors, which make it harder to feel happy afterwards.

Could we say that withdrawal is the same as love-sickness? The feeling that you will never be happy again. The feeling that the only thing that will make you happy is another dose of that person, another shot?

Falling in love is willingly entering into an addictive and dangerous habit. One that you know could most likely end with you on the street, wailing in pain. It's one that can be scientifically measured and physically felt.

It’s one that will impair your judgement and lead you to decisions you would never make in your right frame of mind. It’s a dirty, barbaric and animalistic display that will only end up causing pain.

Many of us know what it’s like to be in love, and some of us know what it’s like to be on cocaine. Judging from the love sickness I’ve felt before, I'm not sure which come down I'd be worse off with.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr