“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” — Maya Angelou
Love is a powerful emotion. It can make us do things that we would not do in a rational state of mind. It’s amazing how our perception changes when we are in love. If we compare love with mental illness, we could say that falling in love is a form of temporary insanity.
People who are madly in love go through many hardships and find ways to manage them. Love can even drive people towards crime or commit especially heinous acts due to the intensity of their emotions.
Studying history, we can also learn how love has been the cause of wars between countries. Many international conflicts have also been resolved because of love.
What is Love?
According to some, love is an emotion that results from a chemical reaction in the brain responsible for transmitting certain neurotransmitters into action. According to others, it comes from inside us by divine intervention or through a process of astrological influence. There isn’t a definite answer about what love is. For now, let’s agree on the following definition: “Love is a powerful emotional bond between two people.”
In Hindu mythology, there are references to eight types of love known as ‘Ashta Lakshanas.’ Many researchers have done extensive studies on this subject to understand the different kinds of love. It is said that there are three main categories, namely physical, emotional, and intellectual, which can be merged.
Some examples of kinds of love
Rati — Physical Love or Lust: The word itself is derived from Sanskrit, meaning ‘Sexual Desire.’ This is the most common type of love. Almost all are aware of physical relationships and their consequences. It’s like an addiction many people experience when they give in to their emotions without thinking about the other person involved. People who practice lust often have no respect for humanity or moral values, nor do they care about the consequences of indulging in this type of relationship where only self-gratification matters.
Pragya labha — Love through infatuation: This is what we call a crush or puppy love which is very common among young people entering adulthood. Infatuation is being carried away by our feelings without really understanding them at times, even when it could lead to the destruction of our values. It leads people to commit crimes or do things against their will, especially when competing for materialistic gains without considering the consequences. We all have seen many incidents where young people have committed suicide because they are rejected by someone they love or get heartbroken.
Moha — Love through delusion: It is often difficult to differentiate between infatuation and delusion. When one becomes so obsessed with another that they lose all sense of reality, this type of relationship comes under the category of “Moha.” Such a person might not be fully aware of their actions, nor can they judge right from wrong, leading them down a slippery slope towards destruction, which could even lead to loss of life if not controlled carefully.
Prema — Divine love: We get to read or watch this type of love in movies like Romeo and Juliet.’ This involves a strong emotional bond that defies all sorts of barriers like age, skin color, caste, or economic status. We all can recall many examples from mythology where various Gods have fallen in love with humans, ignoring that the latter is entirely different from them. For instance, Shri Krishna married Rukmini, who was an ordinary human being, whereas Lord Shiva fell in love with Sati, an extraordinary human being. Divine love is often considered very pure, selfless, and unconditional, making it one of the most potent types of relationships.
Effects on the human brain
Love makes us feel invincible and fearless. It can cause us to abandon our rationality and care less about our safety or dignity.
It makes us feel more confident, attractive, and happier than ever before.
We experience an intense feeling of joy when we are in love.
Love elevates our moods with increased dopamine levels, responsible for pleasure sensations in the brain.
Love causes us to neglect our relationships with other people.
It can sometimes lead us to believe things that are not real referred to as delusions of grandeur.
Effects on the human body
When we fall in love with someone, we first notice the increased heart rate followed by sweaty palms and butterflies in our stomach due to anxiety or excessive energy caused by this type of relationship.
When you become obsessed with someone else, it might lead to loss of appetite and insomnia due to overthinking about the person you love all day long. When one becomes overwhelmed by emotions, they lose their sense of judgment, leading them to act recklessly, which could even cause damage depending on the situation at hand.
What Happens When You Fall Out Of Love?
Post-Love Depression is one of the most common emotional responses to the end of a relationship.
We all experience Post-Love Depression at one point. This is what happens when you fall out of love with your ex. It is that feeling of emptiness after a breakup. The confusion, emptiness, loss of motivation, and pain only worsen the longer their relationship has lasted.
One common misconception about post-love depression is that it means getting over someone. Although it requires time to heal the wounds, Post Love Depression does not have an end date to disappear or be overcome.
How does Post-Love relate to our brain chemistry?
When we are in love, our brains release chemicals that cause us to feel elated and energized around the other person. We can’t think straight, but we want them around us all the time. The dopamine creates a pleasurable feeling like using drugs or alcohol.
But what happens when our loved one leaves us? We are suddenly plunged into reality, but this sadness is not about the breakup anymore. This time it’s deeper because we miss the old feelings of love and happiness. Our brains can’t produce those chemicals anymore, so you feel sad without the person around. Your brain knows you felt good when you were with them, so it makes you want to have that sensation again.
The Breakup Can Feel Worse Than Death
Breakups are a part of life, but they can feel overwhelmingly complicated. It’s not uncommon to feel grief and sorrow, which can physically affect your body.
Perhaps you know someone who has recently gone through a breakup. If this person is experiencing any of the following, they could be suffering from post-breakup blues or something more serious like depression:
1) Severe sadness that won’t go away.
2) Sadness that keeps them up all night (insomnia).
3) Lack of energy or enthusiasm for life’s pleasures.
4) Intense feelings of guilt or shame after the breakup.
5) Feelings of worthlessness and self-hate after the breakup.
6) Avoiding social activities because they don’t want to see their ex with another partner.
7) Thoughts about ending their own life because things are too tricky without their ex in it.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it points to the severity of post-breakup depression. So what can someone do if they are experiencing any of these symptoms? The first thing is to see a therapist because chances are there may be deeper issues you both need to work through together.
How long does Post-Love Depression last?
This depends on each individual and their circumstances. If your ex were abusive, I would recommend staying away from them as much as possible. If there were some valid reasons which caused the breakup, then spending time apart could help open up your eyes and give you some clarity.
The good news is, Post-Love Depression can be treated successfully if you allow yourself enough time to heal and follow the advice of your therapist and loved ones around you.
Love can be considered a powerful emotion that has the power to change, uplift, and make someone’s life better or worse, depending on how one chooses to treat it. It can bring people together by motivating them and driving them apart when destructive. But no matter the consequences, love is love, and it’s fantastic. Don’t you think?
This article was first published on Medium.com.