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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Love Addiction: Not All Hearts & Flowers

love addiction treatmentIt’s that time of year when Valentine hearts, chocolates, and flowers start appearing everywhere. Love is in the air and romance is on just about everyone’s mind. For some people, though, falling in love happens over and over throughout the year and becomes all-consuming. Like drug and alcohol addicts, these people cannot seem to help themselves. They are addicted to love.

In Love with Fantasy
You might think that being addicted to love would keep you in a state of constant euphoria. Instead, people with this behavioral addiction are seldom happy. The love they are constantly pursuing is usually (1) not based in reality, or (2) not the type of healthy interaction that produces a satisfying relationship. Love addiction often takes these unhealthy forms:

• Desire for the feeling of infatuation which characterizes early attraction.
• Immersion in fantasy romance or the idea of being in love.
• Pursuit of an unsuitable or unattainable relationship.
• Need to always be in a relationship even if it is not satisfying.
• Starting & ending relationships, one after another.

Rooted in Feeling Unloved 
Psychologists trace the origin of love addiction in most people to abandonment or neglect in childhood. An unloved child grows up desperate for love or a close relationship with someone who can bring validation to life. Love addiction is a kind of co-dependency where someone with low self-esteem looks desperately to someone else for security and a feeling of wholeness. Unfortunately, love addicts do not understand or know how to develop real intimacy. They are incapable of giving or receiving real love.

Recovery & Learning to Love
As with most addictions, recovery from love addiction requires self-examination, which can be painful and may best be accomplished with help from a professional psychologist. Therapy, 12-step programs, and support groups can help individuals confront their deep-seated feelings and develop strategies to resolve them. These groups can also provide positive examples of healthy, loving relationships that can be emulated.

Helping Young People Reset Their Lives 
When feelings of inadequacy lead to addiction, you need help to free yourself and begin to grow and mature. Hope Academy has a unique program with one-on-one coaching, college admission, and job preparation training to provide a reset for young adults 18 to 26 that have been waylaid by addiction. Call 866-930-4673 to speak with an admissions advisor and restart your life today.

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