|Part of a series on|
Love addiction is a proposed model of pathological passion-related behavior involving the feeling of falling and being in love. A medical review of related behaviors in animals and humans concluded that current medical evidence does not support an addiction model for maladaptive passion-related behaviors. There has never been a reference to love addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a compendium of mental disorders and diagnostic criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association.
|The history of the concept|
|The History and Rise of Sex and Love Addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)|
The modern history of the concept of the love addict – ignoring such precursors as Robert Burton's dictum that 'love extended is mere madness' – extends to the early decades of the 20th century. Freud's study of the Wolf Man highlighted 'his liability to compulsive attacks of falling physically in love ... a compulsive falling in love that came on and passed off by sudden fits'; but it was Sandor Rado who in 1928 first popularized the term "love addict" – 'a person whose needs for more love, more succor, more support grow as rapidly as the frustrated people around her try to fill up what is, in effect, a terrible and unsatisfiable inner emptiness.' Even Søren Kierkegaard in Works of Love said "Spontaneous [romantic] love makes a man free and in the next moment dependent ... spontaneous love can become unhappy, can reach the point of despair."
However, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that the concept came to the popular fore. Stanton Peele opened the door, almost unwittingly, with his 1975 book Love and Addiction; but (as he later explained), while that work had been intended as 'a social commentary on how our society defines and patterns intimate relationships ... all of this social dimension has been removed, and the attention to love addiction has been channeled in the direction of regarding it as an individual, treatable psychopathology'. In 1976, the 12-Step program Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (S.L.A.A.) started hosting weekly meetings based on Alcoholics Anonymous. They published their Basic Text, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, in 1986 discussing characteristics of and recovery from both love addiction and sex addiction. As of late 2012, S.L.A.A.'s membership had grown to an estimated 16,000 members in 43 countries. In 1985, Robin Norwood's Women Who Love Too Much popularized the concept of love addiction for women. In 2004 a program just for love addicts was created--Love Addicts Anonymous. Since, variations on the dynamics of love addiction have become further popularized in the 1990s and 2000s by multiple authors.
– William Wordsworth
((cite book)): External link in
(help)CS1 maint: postscript (link)