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Love and relationship

— The disease of pathological dependence


People generally become love addicts due to a past history of abandonment from their primary caregivers. Adult love addicts are usually recognized as person whose most precious needs for validation, love and connection with one or both parents were not met during childhood. This affects their self-esteem dramatically in adult life. It results in a conscious fear of abandonment and an underlying subconscious fear of intimacy. To a love addict, intensity in a relationship is often mistaken for intimacy.

In other words, love addicts use the naturally occurring high of early romance for escape and dissociation, just as alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, and other addicts use the neurochemical high of addictive substances or behaviors to numb out and not feel the ups and downs of life.

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And love addicts inevitably experience the same basic consequences as all other addicts: depression, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, ruined relationships, trouble at work or in school, declining physical and/or emotional health, financial woes, loss of interest in family, friends, hobbies, and other previously enjoyable activities, etc.

Hermitage Integrated Treatment :

We use a blend of traditional and experiential therapies and approaches to help clients address neglect, abuse, enmeshment and attachment issues that may contribute to love addiction. Our unique approach to treating love addiction helps clients uncover, accept and learn to love their authentic selves. Coupled with trauma-focused therapies, mindfulness practices and shame-reduction methods, clients are encouraged to build self-esteem and develop healthy relationship patterns and coping skills. Co-occurring issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders are also addressed during treatment so clients can begin recovering from all of the challenges that prevent them from having healthy and intimate relationships.

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