Get Love Addiction essential facts below. View Videos or join the Love Addiction discussion. Add Love Addiction to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Love addiction is a proposed model of pathological passion-related behavior involving the feeling of falling and being in love. A medical review of related behaviors in animals and humans concluded that current medical evidence does not support an addiction model for maladaptive passion-related behaviors. There has never been a reference to love addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a compendium of mental disorders and diagnostic criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association.
The modern history of the concept of the love addict - ignoring such precursors as Robert Burton's dictum that 'love extended is mere madness' - extends to the early decades of the 20th century. Freud's study of the Wolf Man highlighted 'his liability to compulsive attacks of falling physically in love ... a compulsive falling in love that came on and passed off by sudden fits'; but it was Sandor Rado who in 1928 first popularized the term "love addict" - 'a person whose needs for more love, more succor, more support grow as rapidly as the frustrated people around her try to fill up what is, in effect, a terrible and unsatisfiable inner emptiness.' Even Søren Kierkegaard in Works of Love said "Spontaneous [romantic] love makes a man free and in the next moment dependent ... spontaneous love can become unhappy, can reach the point of despair."
However, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that the concept came to the popular fore. Stanton Peele opened the door, almost unwittingly, with his 1975 book Love and Addiction; but (as he later explained), while that work had been intended as 'a social commentary on how our society defines and patterns intimate relationships ... all of this social dimension has been removed, and the attention to love addiction has been channeled in the direction of regarding it as an individual, treatable psychopathology'. In 1976, the 12-Step program Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (S.L.A.A.) started hosting weekly meetings based on Alcoholics Anonymous. They published their Basic Text, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, in 1986 discussing characteristics of and recovery from both love addiction and sex addiction. As of late 2012, S.L.A.A.'s membership had grown to an estimated 16,000 members in 43 countries. In 1985, Robin Norwood's Women Who Love Too Much popularized the concept of love addiction for women. In 2004 a program just for love addicts was created--Love Addicts Anonymous. Since, variations on the dynamics of love addiction have become further popularized in the 1990s and 2000s by multiple authors.
In A Spy in the House of Love, the heroine Sabina is said to have seen her 'love anxieties as resembling those of a drug addict, of alcoholics, of gamblers. The same irresistible impulse, tension, compulsion and then depression following the yielding to the impulse'. As a result, she has subsequently been described as 'feeling like a "love addict" enslaved to obsessive-compulsive patterns of behaviour'.
P. G. Wodehouse features in The Inimitable Jeeves 'a character called Bingo who on about every third page meets a wonderful new woman who is going to save his life and is better than any woman he has ever met before, and then of course it flops ... a new burst of life, but it does not last'.
St. Augustine - 'to Carthage then I came, where a cauldron of unholy loves sang all about my ears' - has been interpreted as being, 'fundamentally, what one might call a "love addict"', with a disturbing tendency 'to invest all of himself in relationships and to "forget himself" in the intensity of his affection'.