Love, aka OCD

I was reading National Geographic tonight, and came across an article about love. Usually I eschew these articles around Valentine’s Day, but I took a chance that National Geographic would be a little less woosy about it all, and they were. The article looks at the different theories about why we fall in love with whom we do, and the (possible) science behind it.

One scientist studied a group of people in love, and compared them to a group of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She looked at the levels of serotonin in each, and compared them with a group “free from both passion and mental illness.” What she found is that “love and obsessive-compulsive disorder could have a similar chemical profile.” The article, tongue-in-cheek, suggests using Prozac to escape the grip of runaway passion…

Another theory is that we’re attracted to body odor…fascinating. And here’s my favorite bit from the article: “If the chemically altered state induced by romantic love is akin to a mental illness or a drug-induced euphoria, exposing yourself for too long could result in psychologial damage. A good sex life can be as strong as Gorilla Glue, but who wants that stuff on your skin?” Now folks, there’s some fine writing.



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5 responses to “Love, aka OCD

  1. I’ve heard that body odor theory before. Is that the body’s actual odor or the combination of other chemicals on you, like shampoo or soap or deodorant?I don’t think I can ever recall any girl’s actual body smell, only the perfurme or what not. Maybe it’s a subconcious thing.

  2. Pretty much body odor, I think. The article says the experiment was that they gave men’s sweaty t-shirts to women, and asked them to rate which ones smelled the best. They found that women chose the t-shirt of the man whose genotype was most different from hers, and they therefore suspect had an immune system with something the woman was lacking. So, perhaps, Jerry Maguire was right after all…

  3. Wow, I heard precisely the same thing somewhere else. It makes more sense to me that women were the smellers.

  4. I read somewhere else, somewhere not nearly so scientific (maybe O magazine?) that men like different perfume for women than women would actually pick because a man’s sense of smell is not as keen as a woman’s.

  5. Does the section on love and OCD make any comments about people who might be in love AND have OCD? I’d be curious to know if I’m screwed in love. Actually, I can’t stop obsessing about it. Just kidding. Sort of.

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