Ishq ke side effects / Love – a celebrated by product of chemical locha

Posted on: 02/09/17

That’s what falling in love really amounted to, your brain on drugs. Adrenaline and dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. Chemical insanity, celebrated by poets.

-Tess Gerritson

Popular studies by scientists reveal that an average person takes about 90 seconds to 4 minutes to develop a strong infatuation. And in everyone’s defence, that’s not their fault. What strips us out of simple logic, making us irrational, vulnerable and sometimes ‘stupid’ (take note)?

Don’t look at your heart. It almost never stops beating or even skips a beat until you’re dead or really ill. It’s your “Hormones!”

You might just have barely known a person for 4 and half minutes but now you’re putty in their hands; it’s probably because the strongest and most influential chemicals inside your body are working overtime. In short, you’re drugged.


Drunk in love? Congrats, you got played by Oxytocin!

Oxytocin connects us to other people; it makes us feel what other people feel.

What happens to you when you’re about four glasses of wine down? Emotional vulnerability and a carelessly carefree nature, that’s what. Similarly, when you tend to find that one person you can’t take your eyes off, be rest assured that oxytocin has started playing its role. Known as the love hormone, oxytocin replicates the same effect to your body as the one you experience when you’ve had too much booze. Your anxiety levels and aggressiveness go for a toss. You tend to become emotionally vulnerable in the simplest of situations. Sound familiar?

The drugging from such hormones is heavy. Our visions get distorted and our rational state of mind ignored.  We refuse to see sense even if it is right in front of us.


Dil dhak dhak karne laga? Thank Adrenaline and Norepinephrine!

“There is something human beings can do. The adrenaline rush, we call it. Fear, tremendous love. When people kill themselves, commit suicide over love, that kind of passion will move mountains”

-Julie Taymor

There is a reason for including this quote, and it’s not the mush. It’s true! People DO kill themselves. Hurt themselves. Period. There is a limit to a self-sadistic approach but ‘Love’ makes people stretch it. How bollocks can a person get to attempt suicide over a break-up? It’s just how deep an attachment can psychologically affect you. By psychologically, I mean hormonally.

Two of the most ‘influential’ hormones in our system, adrenaline and norepinephrine, induce quite a number of reactions which force us to act irrational.

I’ve heard of countless couples falling apart owing to one-sided possessiveness! Now, possessiveness comes off as something uncool (simply because it tends to get creepy), what people fail to take into account is that it is not always intended or even controllable. It is triggered. With your anxiety levels fluctuating, biochemical changes to your body do play a significant role in possessiveness. And that possessiveness comes out of the very basic fear of losing the person closest to you.

These chemicals are nothing short of narcotics at the end of the day. Studies suggest that falling in love can somehow be replicated by an intake of cocaine. Of course it makes us energetic and impulsive, but its withdrawal often tends to suck big time. Sadly, none of us have any control over this though.


“The happy high”? Dopamine FTW!

“Any kind of novelty or excitement drives up dopamine in the brain, and dopamine is associated with romantic love”

Helen Fisher

The best part about being in love, for most people, is the feeling of utmost euphoria induced by a neurotransmitter called dopamine in our body. You might have definitely noticed that it is all the more refreshing being around that one person whom you deeply care for and you’re nearly always motivated.

To be really blunt, dopamine is actually the one that screws us over big time. The “everything is awesome” emotion overshadows the fact that things might go south, real fast, real soon.

MRI reports reveal that a feeling of deep affection towards a person sparks a certain pleasure centre of our brain as a direct result of dopamine secretion. With an increase in serotonin and blood flow levels, the euphoria tends to persist for a quite a while giving you that happy high feeling as if you just took a huge dab hit.

On the other hand, dopamine secretion also gives rise to excessive over-thinking and obsession over one person especially during the early stages of a relationship. Stalking isn’t really an uncommon thing today. It’s the age of instagram stories and live videos afterall.

Imagine these hormones all working together over someone you just met ten minutes back. Crazy right?

Dopamine, adrenaline and oxytocin are going to hit you every time you even attempt to plan a happily ever after. We’re going for a toss either way. The best we can do about it is stay informed.


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