Anti-unrequited-love drug

June 08, 2007 (part 1)

No, there’s no such drug, but I found that someone wrote this, hoping for such a drug:

If you’ve ever experienced unrequited love, you will know that it is not a pleasant condition. Obsession, anxiety attacks and distractedness are just some of the effects. It is impossible to reason your way out of it or get out by effort of will, and in some cases the effects can be crippling, as much so as neurochemical depression (or can, indeed, lead to depression). In fact, the phenomenon (known technically as limerence) is believed to be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Apart from being unpleasant to the sufferer, unrequited love undoubtedly is expensive to their co-workers, employers and society in general, through lost productivity and impaired social functioning. As such, were a drug developed that alleviated limerence, as antidepressants do with organic depression, it would have many positive effects.

Given that limerence is a neurochemical phenomenon, a drug that alleviates it should be theoretically feasible. The drug could act by regulating the production of neurotransmitters, stimulating production of transmitters which alter the user’s state sufficiently to alleviate the symptoms of the condition and restore normal cognitive function, or blocking receptors overstimulated as a result of limerence. – (

I’m not sure how I feel about such a thing. Would anyone really take it, if there was such a thing? There’s always that tiny spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, the unrequited love might reciprocate. I wonder what it would feel like to take such a drug? People on Prozac and other antidepressants often say they experience apathy, lack of motivation, emotional numbness, feelings of detachment, and indifference to surroundings. While that may seem preferable to feeling like crap, I don’t think I’d like it. I’ve come to enjoy the highs so much that the lows seem like an acceptable price to pay.


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