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Psychol Rep. 1990 Apr;66(2):515-28.

Overcoming the loss of a love: preventing love addiction and promoting positive emotional health.

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Department of Health Science and Human Ecology, California State University-San Bernardino, 92407.


Counseling and clinical observations clarify views commonly made about the pain of breaking-up a love relationship. Anecdotal reports as presented in popular music, novels, movies, and television programs illustrate the public's general awareness of the emotional dilemma of ending a relationship. Love is a strong pleasurable emotional state. Behavioral and emotional problems can result from rejection and the pain due to the loss of a love. The term "love addiction" has been applied to persons who obsessively seek to regain the pleasurable love state which existed with a former love relationship. Dysfunctional emotional conditions such as distrust, feelings of rejection, loss of self-worth, deep-seated anger, feelings of failure, loss, and an array of other emotional distress and self-defeating behaviors arise in the emotionally hurt person. Emotional distress must be dealt with. Rational self-counseling and psychotherapy can be effective in helping a jilted person work through periods of distress and may help to reestablish emotional well being and good mental health. Counseling can assist the person in moving into new relationships, help the hurt person abandon dysfunctional behaviors and feelings, and aid the client in resuming a normal life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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