Medicine, Wisdom

Human love, love. A pill for love.

Human love, love. A pill for love. 1

Love is not always as good as it is written about in her novels. It can cause not only euphoria and a feeling of intimacy, but also the pain of loss, psychological trauma and even provoke violence. Yet from the point of view of the physiology of the brain, love, with all its sharp turns, ups and downs, is just a hormonal process, which can partly be controlled now. A group of researchers from the University of Oxford published a scientific article about drugs that help to heal from passion, sympathy and affection. The Osteopath House of Knowledge tells the most important things about technology and the ethics of chemical interruption of love.

The desire to get rid of love seems to exist just as much as she herself: in Ovid Nason, Tita Lucretius Cara, William Shakespeare, and many other authors, you can find the lines that this feeling is like an illness. Destructive, deeply traumatic passion, jealousy, misunderstanding, loneliness and grief – all this can be the fruits of love, and all this we have seen many times in literature, philosophy, drama, and in our own life. We know that problem love is not only unrequited: the desire to stay close to a person prone to domestic violence, incestual love, passion for the head of the cult and sexual interest in minors also cause a lot of trouble, even if a person is able to resist action.

Attempts to “do something” with unnecessary passions have always been made: in different eras they unsuccessfully fell in love with trying to heal with bloodletting, sports exercises, a strict diet and prayer. And these funds, unfortunately, did not always help. Then love was perceived as something firmly rooted in the body – but today we know that this is only partly true.Human love, love. A pill for love. 2

Scientists are confident that in the future in the arsenal of doctors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists there will appear “neuro drugs” – highly effective synthetic modulators of brain activity – aimed at specific receptors in various reflex arcs and capable of helping a person cope with unwanted passion. Today, there are no such drugs, however, many drugs intended for completely different purposes suppress sexual desire as a side effect. For example, antidepressants — especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — block the production of sex hormones. Libido is also reduced by painkillers with butalbital, opiates and other medicines.

In the judicial practice of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and other countries, the punitive procedure for sexual offenses against minors applies a radical chemical suppression of libido, in which antiandrogens block androgen receptor cells, interfering with testosterone action, causing the sexual desire to disappear. Such drugs have side effects that can persist throughout life: increased bone fragility, obesity, etc.

From the point of view of observance of human rights, chemical suppression of libido is today recognized as a highly ambiguous procedure. There are examples in history when it became a tool of homophobia or was used improperly. For example, the famous British mathematician, logician, cryptographer Alan Turing, who cracked the Third Reich’s Enigma code, in 1952 agreed to the chemical suppression of libido voluntarily in order to avoid imprisonment for his homosexuality. At that time in the UK she was prosecuted and considered a mental disorder. As a punishment, the “guilty” could choose chemical suppression of the libido or prison. Turing preferred the first. Two years later, he died from cyanide poisoning, which many researchers consider to be suicide.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Love through the Eyes of the Brain
From the point of view of neurobiology, love is a product of the activity of the brain – a complex neurobiological phenomenon that emerged in the course of evolution. It relies on the mechanics of trust, pleasure, and rewards, and is closely related to both the work of the cerebral cortex and the activity of the limbic system, which is located in the depths of the skull and is one of the most ancient elements of the brain responsible for basic survival reactions: “run” , “Mate”, “eat” and so on.

Since prehistoric times, love that can bring people together and keep them close to birth and raise offspring has been the basis for the survival of the species. According to the neurobiologist, anthropology specialist Helen Fisher and her research team from Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA), she relies on three neurophysiological subsystems that trigger sexual desire, sympathy and affection. Sexual attraction, which takes the stage first, pushes us to meet with potential partners, sympathy allows you to choose the right one among them, and affection helps to create a long-term relationship and gives us the strength to cooperate with each other until the parental duty is fulfilled.

The work of each of the three subsystems is based on the effects of hormones and neurotransmitters, which are produced in our body. For example, sexual attraction is associated with estrogen and testosterone, the sex hormones that exist in both men and women. The ability to assess someone’s attractiveness is associated with the hormones of pleasure and stress: dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline – which allow us to focus on the object of attraction, mentally returning to him again and again, and feel a pleasant revival in his presence. As for attachment, neuromodulators oxytocin and vasopressin play the main role here. They inspire us with a sense of peace and confidence, and naturally encourage us to conduct behavior that is potentially favorable to relationships.

The problem is that all these subsystems operate simultaneously, so that we can desire one potential partner, consider the other attractive and maintain a constant relationship with the third. At the same time, autonomous actions of the “components of love” cannot be named. For example, testosterone stimulates the production of vasopressin, which has a positive effect on the formation of attachment, and oxytocin affects the activity of dopaminergic pathways, associating attachment with attractiveness, so that the one who is closest becomes the most loved.

Human love, love. A pill for love. 3Against lust: neurodrugs and antiandrogens

Scientists are confident that in the future in the arsenal of doctors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists there will appear “neuro drugs” – highly effective synthetic modulators of brain activity – aimed at specific receptors in various reflex arcs and capable of helping a person cope with unwanted passion. Today, there are no such drugs, however, many drugs intended for completely different purposes suppress sexual desire as a side effect. For example, antidepressants — especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — block the production of sex hormones. Libido is also reduced by painkillers with butalbital, opiates and other medicines.

In the judicial practice of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and other countries, the punitive procedure for sexual offenses against minors applies a radical chemical suppression of libido, in which antiandrogens block androgen receptor cells, interfering with testosterone action, causing the sexual desire to disappear. Such drugs have side effects that can persist throughout life: increased bone fragility, obesity, etc.

From the point of view of observance of human rights, chemical suppression of libido is today recognized as a highly ambiguous procedure. There are examples in history when it became a tool of homophobia or was used improperly. For example, the famous British mathematician, logician, cryptographer Alan Turing, who cracked the Third Reich’s Enigma code, in 1952 agreed to the chemical suppression of libido voluntarily in order to avoid imprisonment for his homosexuality. At that time in the UK she was prosecuted and considered a mental disorder. As a punishment, the “guilty” could choose chemical suppression of the libido or prison. Turing preferred the first. Two years later, he died from cyanide poisoning, which many researchers consider to be suicide.

Against sympathy: drugs for OCD

In 1999, a team led by neuroscientist Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa found out that in the first months love resembles obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In both cases, research participants were worried about the smallest details and suffered from obsessive thoughts; in addition, doctors have found changes in the work of transport proteins that move serotonin. The level of this protein and of serotonin itself was the same for all people, but it did not correspond to the norm. “This suggests that love in the literal sense of the word introduces us to a state that can not be called normal,” experts said. When, after 12–18 months, they again tested the experiment participants in love, it turned out that their serotonin level returned to normal values ​​— and the compulsive idealization of the partner (the ability to generate abstract and concrete mental representations of missing stimuli) disappeared.

All this means that OCD medications, roughly speaking, also help from excessive sympathy for the object of love. Patients with obsessions and compulsions respond well to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which, as we know, inhibits libido. Also, these antidepressants affect the release of dopamine, causing a decrease in euphoric moods that help build attachment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors also have another side effect that can affect romantic relationships: they reduce the ability to worry about other people’s feelings. So taking this type of antidepressant reduces the risk of falling in love. For patients with depression, this may be for the best, because falling in love, with all the pleasant sensations, is still a lot of stress.

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Against Attachment: Dopamine Antagonists

Vasopressin, oxytocin and dopamine, hormone-responsible hormones that are responsible for affection and reduce stress, are produced in humans and other monogamous mammals during touches, hugs, kisses, strokes, sex, orgasm, and breastfeeding. They, in many respects, hold together couples, as well as mothers and their offspring. At the same time, oxytocin and vasopressin help to form a system of signals necessary for a successful search for your partner or child among other creatures of the same species and gender (and as a result you can “learn a nice walk”), and dopamine participates in the process of creating rewarding experiences , tenderness, inspiration and others.

Scientists have found that the direct introduction of oxytocin into the brain of females of the gray vole and vasopressin into the brains of males of the same species makes it easier for animals to create bonds even during periods when they were not ready to mate. If rodents received dopamine or oxytocin antagonists — drugs that block the corresponding receptors — they would lose their propensity for monogamy and move on to short polygamous connections.

Of course, it cannot be argued that a person has a mechanism for forming love affection in the same way as a gray vole, but there is a certain similarity between us. In addition, in the course of numerous studies in recent years, neurobiologists and anthropologists have been able to find out some interesting facts about love: in particular, in terms of the pattern of dopamine production, it resembles cocaine dependence. Today, dopamine antagonists are used to treat it, which also “help” from romantic attachment.

Conclusion: the formula of love

Human love is like a complex reflex with the launch of a different set of programs. The mechanism of the start of hormonal Love is the parts of the human brain that are below the big hemispheres, that is, in the animal parts of the brain (the stem is the cerebellum and the limbic nervous system). The trigger is a visual and auditory analyzer. In order not to be in love with love, an instruction to the body is needed, how not to manage these programs that are unconsciously turned on and how to learn to manage them so that hormonal reactions do not turn on unconsciously in the body. The Osteopath House of Knowledge recommends that you study Ethics and the correct Ideology of Life (spiritual sources) to control the animal part of the brain.

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