“I told a friend about it and she about fell on the floor. I started talking about it to the patients here at The Meadows, where I have worked for years, and they [admitted], ‘I do that.’ It was stunning.I was surprised that everybody else was doing it, so I wrote a book.Is there something that people can recognize in themselves or their family should recognize?Pia Mellody: This is what goes on with them: First of all, when you are getting neglected and you are spending a lot of time alone, what happens is you don’t know what it means to be connected or relational to other people.
Sometimes they will kill their partner, sometimes the affair, sometimes both of them. There was an incident here where I live where a young woman was married to a policeman and had two little babies.You spend a lot of time alone daydreaming and making up fantasies in your head that make you feel better because what you are making up in your head in fantasy will chemically change your body and create a sense of joy or relief.That [chemical change] is what they are actually addicted to.I was going to ask if love addiction could be two-sided, but it sounds as if not because it is one person’s fantasy? What usually happens is when they go into withdrawal, they are put in some sort of a psych unit or somebody understands that they really need psychiatric help or counseling.Pia Mellody: Sometimes two love addicts get together and form what I call a dependent relationship, but they never go into treatment because they hang on to each other for dear life and go through life like that. If somebody can recognize it for what it is — love addiction — and not treat it as depression, rage or something like that, but recognize the dilemma this person is in in their own head and the cycle, they can get help. Is there a program you work, or do you have to go to rehab for treatment?