Monday, February 14, 2005

Is Love a Form of Mental Illness?

“The language of Valentine's Day cards and love songs—‘crazy for you,’ ‘madly in love,’ et cetera—may reveal an important truth. Sometimes, love looks like a mental disorder, says British clinical psychologist Frank Tallis. . . . The author of ‘Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness,’ Mr. Tallis has a private practice in London, where he says he often has patients who are suffering mentally because of love. ‘Some people are referred to me because of an admission to depression or anxiety disorder, but in fact, once we'd explored issues around their problems, it was clear they were just in love.’ . . .

“Not everyone in love is in need of psychiatric care, Mr. Tallis cautions. . . .

“‘It's part of the human condition, but it's certainly a potentially destabilizing experience, more than we recognize socially. Perhaps in modern times, we've underestimated its significance, in terms of its power to destabilize people emotionally.’”

Underestimated its significance in terms of its power to destabilize people emotionally? Has he ever listened to popular song lyrics?

Read the full Washington Times story here.


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