What we treat
Love Addiction & Attachment Disorder
Love off balance can be dangerous—especially for women. Love addiction is associated with the feeling of being in love which can trigger compulsive behavior. Sometimes the feelings are so intense they are described as cravings, just like the description of being without a drink or a drug, and the behavior can become destructive and dangerous. While the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) recognizes compulsive disorders, it doesn’t recognize all the behaviors, like love addiction.
When a person becomes reliant on their person of interest, in hopes that the other person will complete them, it can create an overwhelming fantasy and heighten the addiction. The need to feel completed by another person may be a sign it’s time for attachment disorders treatment. Love addicts attract love avoidant partners—some say this can stem from childhood trauma. The addict lacks emotional boundaries and has difficulty thinking for themselves, while the avoidant tends to be emotionally unavailable. The common denominator for these two is their deep fear of abandonment. Like oil and water, these relationships ultimately turn chaotic in nature.
Love addiction can change from one ‘relationship’ to another—one can be an avoidant in one relationship and an addict in another. Remember, the root is the same fear of abandonment. Also keep in mind one bad relationship doesn’t qualify you as an addict or avoidant, it can just mean it was a bad relationship. However, if there is a pattern and if the behaviors listed seem familiar, please keep reading;
- Highly sexual to please partner
- Volatile or violent relationships
- Anxious when not with the person
- In and out of relationships, always chasing
- Seem to be attracted to unavailable people
- Have sex hoping they will love you
- Will give up personal responsibilities for partner
- Go back to volatile unavailable partners
- Bored in a calm committed relationship
- Can go long periods uninvolved in relationship
- Stay in bad relationships hoping the other will change
- Need to constantly be in a relationship
What Psychologist Say About Attachment Disorders Treatment and Love Addiction
Some psychologists suggest that the actual addiction, stemming from the attachment disorder, is a way that people with love addiction have learned (believe it or not) to feel good. Most believe the lack of attachment as children give the addict no sense of normal—once they get a taste of the “feel good” chemicals naturally produced in the brain when they fall in love, norepinephrine and dopamine, they’re hooked. This is also why love addiction and disordered eating (which can also produce the same chemicals) are linked to drug and alcohol addiction. When the natural high isn’t enough, the effect can be manufactured by a drink or a drug.
How We Do It: Attachment Disorder Treatment Options
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the main modality used to treat love addiction. CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.
Trauma Informed Therapy is a specific approach to therapy that recognizes and emphasizes understanding how the traumatic experience impacts a child’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Love Addiction Anonymous (LAA) unique women’s only twelve step approach.
Casa Capri Recovery
Our program offers the highest quality care for women struggling with addiction and co-occurring conditions in Southern California.