The Oxford English Dictionary defines love as „An intense feeling of romantic attachment based on an attraction felt by one person for another“.

Love and addiction

Some research suggests that romantic love can be addictive like drugs, alcohol or gambling. There is a link between certain behavioral characteristics of people in love and addicts such as the phases of euphoria and despair.

On the other hand, some research suggests that love, due to the changes in the level of certain neurotransmitters, can be used to treat real addictions.

Love and obsession

In one of our articles, the connection between different neurotransmitters and love has already been explained. Reduced levels of serotonin in the early stages of infatuation are associated with unreasonable obsessive behavior. A parallel is drawn to the reduction of serotonin in the central nervous system present in several psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression and anxiety disorder.

Although the term obsessive love disorder (OLD) can be found in literature, this condition is not classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). OLD is described as a state in which someone is obsessed with the person they are in love with. They often see this person as they property and have a great need to protect them. Obsessive thoughts and actions are also present, and rejection is hard to accept.

Obsessive love disorder as part of OCD

A 2022 study investigated the potential link between romantic love and OCD symptoms. Some of the common characteristics of the phenomenon are intrusive thoughts, obsession with details and lack of concentration. It is important to note that the described type of romantic love refers to the early phase of falling in love. The results of the study only partially support the set hypotheses, and the importance of conducting further research for a better understanding of the connection between falling in love and OCD is encouraged.

On the other hand

Don’t get confused, love is something we all strive for and it’s completely normal. You will agree that it is very appropriate to end the text with the following verses: „Believe in love because love is everything. Believe in love, don’t live without it. Believe in love and preserve it, believe in love in times of evil.“

Translated by Patricia Štriga



1. Što je ljubav?,, pristupljeno 14.2.2023.

2. Earp BD, Wudarczyk OA, Foddy B, Savulescu J. Addicted to love: What is love addiction and when should it be treated? Philos Psychiatr Psychol, 2017, 24(1), 77-92.

3. Zou Z, Song H, Zhang Y, Zhang X. Romantic Love vs. Drug Addiction May Inspire a New Treatment for Addiction. Front Psychol, 2016, 22(7), 1436.

4. Obsessive Love Disorder,, pristupljeno 14.2.2023.

5. McLauchlan J et al. The price of love: an investigation into the relationship between romantic love and the expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder. CNS Spectr, 2022, 27(6), 691-698.

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