Limerence: not all Love is an Amour


Limerence – ‘Love is Drug’ is a song about love. In 1975, Roxy music released the song. When love is unilateral, it can become like a drug. All the receipts of love in the brain begin to work. These, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Estrogen and Testosterone, four neuronal hormones are associated with love. As a result, some abuses or abnormalities occur in behavior. The person places his/her love above everything else. Reality does not work anymore.

Psychologist Dorothy Tenov has named this unilateral love ‘Limerence’. When the Limerence becomes a disease or illness, treatment is required. The simple natural urge to stay with the people of love becomes very strong and intense in this case. Exactly like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Generally, whenever anybody falls in love, the serotonin level of that person decreases to the level of obsession. As a result, imagination or thinking evolves around the person they love. Not only serotonin, other neurohormones also change in Limerent reaction. That is why this unilateral love starts to grow very strong in the mind of that person. The love shown in the Hindi movie called Darr by Shah Rukh Khan is actually Limerence. 5% love in the world crosses the normal level and comes to the Limerent reaction level.

How can you understand?
⇒ If you imagine that he/she is perfect for you
⇒ If you cannot think of anything other than him/her.
⇒ If you feel extra nervous, confused or shy if you are with him/her.
⇒ If you fear of being rejected by him and this fear leads you to think about committing suicide.
⇒ If you get intense pleasure with his little attention towards you.
⇒ If your imagination is such that he is within you.
⇒ If everything around you make you remind him/her.
⇒ If you are always talking with him/her in mind.
⇒ It does not matter how he treats you, it always seems romantic to you.
⇒ If you are around him/her, some physical symptoms will be seen in you too like the chest cramps, the face becomes red and the body trembles etc.

The above events can happen in the case of first love. But love affair or amour is different from Limerence in the way that both of them will feel happy by falling in love with each other but in the case of Limerence, it will be fun for only one person but the other one will only suffer.

So if you are having problems with your loved ones, then treat them without bothering them again and again. Respect your love.

Dr. S M Atikur Rahman

Consultant Psychiatrist, Dept. of Psychiatry, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University-BSMMU, Dhaka, Bangladesh


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