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Love is inescapable. Intertwined in history, novels and movies, love is ever-present in our daily lives. But just as love can lift us up, it can bring us down. Whether it is unrequited love, a nasty breakup, or even problems in your current relationship, periods of depression, longing, and hopelessness may follow. Heartache holds the potential to interfere with your life to the point that can impact your mental and physical wellness. In fact, being lovesick can feel exactly like that — an illness.

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Sure, love comes with plenty of health benefits — but sometimes, Cupid's arrow hits you where it hurts.

Or it can make you feel extremely nauseated, tremendously sweaty, and downright depressed. In most cases, love-sicknesses both the good and the bad ones are temporary and fade on their own — but if they linger too long, you may want to consider seeking help a mental health professional. Could it be a stomach bug?

The flu? Nope — you are in love, my friend.

During the first few months of a relationshipthe chemicals in our brains that get triggered include the neurotransmitters phenethylamine, dopaminenorepinephrineand oxytocin — dubbed the love hormone, oxytocin is a strong pleasure and satisfaction neurotransmitter that helps two people bond, Dr. Hullett says. But while they can make us feel blissful, they can also result in loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, and difficulty falling asleep.

Over time, however, these effects tend to subside, says Hullett. For some people, lovesickness goes beyond butterflies: It may also induce physical effectssuch as heart palpitations, shortness of breathstomach pain, loss of sleep, and depression, all which may persist and prevent you from functioning normally. Also known as limerence, this condition is marked by extreme attraction to another, as well as an obsessive need to have feelings returned.

Not to mention, you lose those powerful love hormones, says Hullett. For some people, the loss can feel as devastating as the death of a loved one. Imagine this scenario: An elderly man passes away suddenly, and then a few days later his brokenhearted wife of 60 years has chest pain. Known in the medical community as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome mimics symptoms of a heart attackincluding shortness of breath, chest pain, heart failureand a feeling of impending doom.

Limerence: an addiction to love

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicinewhich looked at 19 women without existing heart disease, the overwhelming stress of heartbreak can cause the body to release hormones that may be responsible for this palpable reaction. Normally, sex produces feelings of happiness and elation. But for reasons that researchers have not yet pinpointed, some women experience just the opposite — a state called postcoital dysphoria.

Also known as post-sex depressionthe condition is marked by feelings of sadness, anxiety, regret, and irritability. You know you can catch a cold from your partner, but did you realize you can also catch his depression?

Are you ‘lovesick’?

Though states of mind are not technically contagious, research shows that someone with a blue mood can negatively impact the spirits of those around him. If one partner is depressed, the other may indeed begin to experience that depression. Fortunately, by urging your partner to get help — you may start to feel better, too.

A Brigham Young University study published in the journal Health Psychology revealed that being around people you have mixed feelings about can actually be worse for your physical and emotional health than being around people you flat out dislike. Researchers evaluated people after different social interactions and hypothesized that the unpredictability of being around people you have both positive and negative feelings about can stress you out, affecting your blood pressure as well as your anxiety levels.

That feeling like your heart has been ripped out of your chest? turns out you’re not just being melodramatic. being lovesick can impact your mental and physical wellness, but there are ways to get relief.

Health Topics. Health Tools. Last Updated: February 9, Medically Reviewed. The Love-Struck Bug. Limerence: An Addiction to Love.

Post-Breakup Heartbreak. Broken Heart Syndrome. The Post-Sex Blues. Infectious Depression.


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Beware your blood pressure level.