“The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven,” the famous quote from Paradise Lost, Book I, by 17th century English poet John Milton speaks about an impressionable mind. The mind reacts positively or negatively to corresponding situations and affects our state of physical being. Love being a positive emotion impacts the mind of a mentally ill person in a significantly positive way as well. That is the power of love!
Chemistry of love
The chemistry of love for centuries has bamboozled scientists, psychiatrists and common people alike. It has been described numerously and has come to conjure up positive qualities such as hope, trust, affection, kindness and so on and so forth.
With its powerful appeal to human senses, love has been for long a subject matter of sculptures, for example Khajuraho’s erotic stone figures, and scores of literary creations from all ages and across geographical locations. From the realm of erotic sculptures and literary creations love has today entered the realm of medical sciences. Especially, love’s usefulness in the treatment of serious mental disorders, is a proven fact.
Psychiatrists and scientists have recognised the importance of love relationship and its effectiveness in the treatment of mental ailments such as depression, anxiety and stress, etc. The role of various neurotransmitters and hormones and their positive impact on human body during love relationship is now a well recognized part of the medical sciences.
A healthy synergy between human nervous system and body is a sin qua non for healthy mind and body. Scientists explain that human brain zones or the limbic system (a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions such as fear, pleasure, anger, etc. and drives hunger, sex, dominance and care of offspring, etc).
Limbic system is greatly impacted by limbic resonance (theory that the capacity for sharing deep emotional states arises from the limbic system of the brain). The brain synchronizes with limbic regulation with wide ranging implications for the development of human personality and emotional well being.
A secured relationship has a far reaching implication for human ability to become adaptive to different situations through the major part of human life. Allostatic load is a measure of psychological consequences of stress on human mind. Love is an important positive social emotion that helps bring down the level of allostatic load among patients with various mental disorders including stress and depression.
Underlining the importance of a long love life, psychiatrists are now increasingly stressing on developing interpersonal relationships to deal with a large number of mental problems such as depression and anxiety disorders. A large number of mental disorders have been attributed to social isolation. Experts feel that binding couples to a marital relationship helps reduce depression among men and women besides the sense of isolation.
The attachment therapy is effective in the treatment of depression among children and interpersonal therapy helps adult patients deal with depression better. But experts now are increasingly looking at EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy to alleviate the suffering of mentally ill persons. EFT aims to instil among mentally ill a sense of confidence and security. It helps reduce depression and anxiety among patients and build stable and loving relationships based on mutual support among the couples.
Experts say that involving couples in common loving relationship is a panacea for a wide range of common mental disorders. They say engaging people in strong, stable and honest relationship can help greatly reduce cases of mental disorders and lead a happy and meaningful life.
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