Addicted to Love? It's Not You, It's Your Brain

The identification of a physical cause could also mean that people seek physical answers, she said, for example, in the form of pop-able pills.

"So it could be used very effectively or it could be abused," she said. "But in general, for most people it can be very helpful because they can say, 'I have this problem. I can get over it. I know it will pass."

Susan Peabody, love addiction counselor, author of "Addiction to Love" and co-founder of Love Addicts Anonymous, said Fisher's study is among the most groundbreaking studies on the chemistry of love.

Long known to experts in the self-help field, love produces mind-altering chemicals to which we can become addicted.

"This study legitimizes what we already know," she said. "How does this help us love addicts? For one, it reduces the shame we have for being a love addict because it makes love addiction a legitimate form of mental illness like all addictions."

Love Heals All Wounds, Even Science Says So

While the information doesn't yet make love addiction more treatable, she said it moves the field closer to medical treatment.

In the meantime, Fisher said her study gives scientific support to one more time-tested adage: as time goes on, the pain fades away.

"Time does heal," she said, explaining that as more time passed, activity in the parts of the brain associated with attachment and addiction decreased. "People have always said time heals and we've proven it."

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