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Chapter 12 Craving for Intimacy

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1 Chapter 12 Craving for Intimacy
For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is preparation. Rainer Maria Rilke Copyright © 2004 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2 Successfully connecting with another person is the hardest work the brain will ever do.
Loneliness is not a healthy human condition Relationships extend life, affect blood pressure, support the immune system & enhance brain healing Parenting relates to children’s substance use, school success, social competence, ego control & resilience, depression, & adult employment The family shapes self esteem for a long time before others have a chance to weigh in

3 The Five Freedoms -V. Satir
The freedom to see & hear what is here & now The freedom to think & know what one thinks & knows The freedom to think & express what one feels The freedom to want & choose what one wants The freedom to imagine one’s own self-actualization, rather than playing a role of another’s design

4 Parenting can fail on either end of the spectrum
Manipulation/ excessive control can increase drug use/ delinquency/ insecurity/ frustration -Excessive guilt can trigger aggression Lack of parental support relates to depression, low self worth, dependency

5 Unreasonable punishment can trigger internalizing or externalizing behaviors

6 Jonesing for love Jones- an insatiable craving that is never completely satisfied Romantic love exists in every culture on earth as far back as recorded history When we can’t return to the safety of infancy, we may repeat certain behaviors in order to find that intimacy Limerance- constant thought of the lover, elaborate fantasies of love/courtship & any possible attention triggers elation

7 Love can quell existential fears
Love addiction is not genuine intimacy Healthy love- both partners want to enrich one another’s life through caring, support Love addicts care little about the well-being of the lover; they beg for approval/affection in an escalating cycle of disappointment & challenge Without the lover, the love addict feels despair, fearing doing life without support Hysteroid dysphoria- intense love sickness- depression, depletion of energy, increased appetite as a response to rejection If they receive some attention, they respond with euphoria They tend to be hypervigilant for signs of others’ disapproval They tend to fall in love more easily than others, with less discretion

8 Signs of love addiction
Denial- others see the relationship as troubling, addict disagrees Immediacy- addict needs frequent consultation with lover all day Compulsion- breaking up/ always making up Loss of control- feel powerless to control feelings/ behavior regarding lover Progression- suspect the relationship is on a downward spiral Withdrawal – experience physical symptoms when separated from lover

9 Neurochemistry of Romance
Oxytocin- the cuddle chemical Love lights up the caudate nucleus, full of dopamine receptors Dopamine creates energy, exhilaration, focused attention, motivation to win reward Dopamine is a love potion which can trigger risk-taking behavior PEA- released in response to love- excitatory amine similar to amphetamine PEA triggers the exhilaration/ euphoria of infatuation

10 Kissing Kissing- good ones increase oxytocin, which increases bonding, lowers stress hormones, boosts blood pressure, increases pulse rate, & lowers rationality Males show rise in oxytocin after kissing Females show decrease in oxytocin after kissing or talking while holding hands- maybe females need more than kissing to feel bonded

11 Love addiction has 2 phases
Infatuation- heightened energy, euphoria, sense of well being from PEA When PEA declines, the honeymoon is over There will either be a shift to attachment, quieter activities, or withdrawal with feelings of boredom, stagnation, depression Attachment- mediated by endorphins, oxytocin, nesting behavior

12 Separation can trigger derangement
Love junkies can feel paranoid, irrational when facing separation It can cause depression, fatigue, apathy Neurochemical similarities to OCD, as lovers obsess about the object of their desire 40% lower levels of serotonin in both Associated with impulsivity/ violence

13 Sex Addiction Fantasy can be a safer form of sex addiction (phone sex, internet sex) but it will contribute to addiction – loss of control, compulsive use, continuation in spite of negative results. Illusion of connection and being desired Payoff is self-stimulation/ orgasm Downside is cost & intensifying the sexual obsession. Fantasy used to justify the behavior, blame

14 Core beliefs that sex addicts hold
I am basically a bad, unworthy person. No one would love me as I am. My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others. Sex is my most important need.

15 Sex Addiction- Level 1 Masturbation Obsessive relationships
Multiple relationships, cruising, prostitution Pornography, strip shows when it affects “real” relationships Double life, bingeing, often viewed as sexual success

16 Sex Addiction- Level 2 Exhibitionism Voyeurism
Indecent calls, taking liberties with another Masturbation links all these behaviors, becoming the payoff Risk is arrest, but most are viewed as nuisance offense Offender viewed as pathetic, not a real risk

17 Sex Addiction- Level 3 Child molestation Incest
Therapist who has sex with client Rape & violence Victims are often most vulnerable, unable to protect selves. Long term effects are serious. Society has little tolerance for these offenders.

18 Burton Pugash & Linda Riss Crazy Love “ If I can't have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you, no one else will want you." Burton Pugach This man hired a thug to throw lye in his lover’s face when she wanted to break up with him after finding out he was married with a child. She was blinded & disfigured He served 14 years in prison for this crime, after which he reconnected with Linda and they married. A documentary film was made: Crazy Love They wrote a book: A Very Different Love Story

19 MDMA: Synthetic Love Ecstasy may mimic the transcendent experience of infatuation Lovers feel the world is unfolding just to affirm their love, time stops, they are one with the universe, music & the environment all exist as a backdrop for their love drama, there is a deep desire to touch one another

20 The risks of trying Ecstasy
Can cause long-term damage to dopaminergic neurons & serotonergic nerve endings There is decrease in gray matter in the brain Long-term memory/ cognitive deficits Dehydration, hypertension, brain swelling, hyperthermia, heart & kidney failure Can trigger psychosis

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