Friday, November 02, 2007

Chemical Embrace

So, we all know what it means to say there is good chemistry between two people. But did you realize that when you first start dating someone your brain starts to produce higher-than-normal levels of dopamine, phenylethylamine and oxytocin? These levels are what drive the giddiness in the early stages of a relationship – they enhance libido and the desire to cuddle among other things.

As such, this excess of neurotransmitters can actually heighten certain disorders. For instance, if someone has obsessive-compulsive tendencies these tend to increase during this time. Also, the chemical phenylethylamine is what is present in large order for folks suffering manic-depression (or bi-polar) and, when enhanced, it can perhaps drive that person over the edge into seeming insanity when it comes to “love.”

The combination of these chemicals can make you feel invincible and on top of the world. The sad fact is that these feel-good chemicals will dissipate and not always equally or at the same time for each partner. That is, one partner may still be feeling the intoxication of the early stages much longer than the other. Attachment at this point is relative and can be tricky. Some people are addicted to “love” in the sense that they are addicted to these chemicals. This is probably what drives serial daters and/or why some people can’t seem to settle down into a lasting relationship.

For some, a break-up is akin to going through drug withdrawal. The devastated party has to go cold turkey. This is the ultimate buzz-kill. My question is, is there a drug out there to facilitate the healing? To wean the other person off of these chemicals? If heroin addicts have Methadone, what can cure a broken heart?

Or do you simply have to numb it for awhile?

“I need a shot of Novocain to numb my heart. Could you pass me the bottle? Make it something hard, cause there ain't enough Novocain to numb my broken heart.“

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