Is love a mental disorder?

When a person falls in love, very often it consumes them and makes them irrational and spontaneous. It can even cause depression that is known as love-sickness when they are apart from the person they love, and this can cause sleep deprivation and loss of appetite. Scientists who have studied the chemical changes in the brain of people who’ve recently fallen in love have compared it to the state of euphoria that you experience from taking amphetamines, and symptoms similar to obsessive compulsive disorders.

Serotonin, which is known as the ‘happy chemical’ that’s responsible for your wellbeing is lowered when in love, just like someone suffering with a mental disorder like depression, or anxiety. Not knowing the whereabouts of your partner can invoke negative emotions like jealousy, anxiety and can make a normally sensible person take risks and make illogical decisions, and your cognitive abilities are significantly affected.

“One is very crazy when in love” – Sigmund Freud

Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD) is a condition where one partner becomes obsessive and becomes controlling of them as though they were a possession rather than a life partner. This condition makes the person irrational as they have an overwhelming love and desire for their partner, or someone they love even if the love isn’t returned. When sufferers of OLD face rejection they can become tormentors and bombard the other person with texts, emails and phone calls.

When love dies and couples separate often hatred can be as intense as the initial love between partners. I can attest to this as I’m personally going through a divorce, and my wife has become quite despicable and I’m not far from the feeling of hatred as she’s made my life extremely difficult over the last few months. For someone to be deeply in love and then to reach a form of resentment for the person can only be described as a form of mental impairment. Being in love is akin to an addiction and just like taking addictive drugs, love induces the release of Dopamine in the brain. Perception becomes distorted and you tend to see only the good and avoid the warning signs, which gives the phrase ‘love is blind’ some credibility. As well as Dopamine, the brain also releases the neurochemicals, Phenylethylamine and Norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is responsible for the production of adrenaline which leads to physical attributes like sweaty palms, racing heart, butterflies in the stomach, and Phenylethylamine gives you the feelings of euphoria, joy and excitement by increasing the amount of Dopamine produced by the brain.

If the feeling of love becomes too intense a person can develop erotomania, which is a form of delusional disorder where someone believes that someone is in love with them when they’re not, and might not even know the person exists. Many people who suffer from erotomania also suffer from bipolar or schizophrenia, and their mind makes them believe that the person they desire is also infatuated with them.

“Omnis amans amens ~ Every lover is crazy” – Roman proverb

Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent and Omnipresent, or non existent?

Many theists are adamant in their confidence that their god not only exists, but is heavily involved in their lives, and listens to their prayers. They believe that their god is all knowing, all powerful and all present, yet they allow things to happen almost as if they don’t exist. Many theists claim that everything that’s bad happens because of man’s alleged lifestyle and sin, but that doesn’t account for natural disasters like drought, famine, earthquakes or tsunamis where countless lives are either taken, or badly affected. If a god was all powerful and all knowing, they’d surely prevent things like that happening, but it happens and theists just accept that it’s their god’s will through ignorance and naivety.

How can theists claim their god is all knowing and all loving but allows priests who represent the Catholic religion to abuse children and nuns? Surely he knows they are going to do it before they do, so why doesn’t their god prevent it if he loves everyone? This is the same loving god that sent a flood and wiped out most of the life on Earth according to creationists, and the same loving god who’s prepared to order the execution of a man collecting wood on the sabbath, and it’s also the same loving god who’s prepared to punish someone with eternal Hell for not choosing to acknowledge their existence.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus

What’s alarming about all of this are the amount of humans who take everything that happens as their god’s will and just accept it without question. If you are attacked, or raped, your loving god knew it was going to happen, yet didn’t prevent it. How can someone just accept that it’s god’s will, and just carrying on with life? I can imagine that through process could help with grief, but it’s far from rational.

What equally as disturbing is the belief that theists think that they have a personal relationship with their god, and he communicates with them. So if this is the case, why hasn’t god spoken to everyone and put atheism and agnosticism to bed? The fallacy that you have to seek god and put your faith in him before he reveals himself is nothing more than insane ramblings of the delusional.

Do we survive death?

You hear frequently that theists believe that when they die their spirit and soul will leave their carbon based bodies and meet God, where he’ll judge you on your actions during your life. Practically every religion throughout history has had some belief in some form of afterlife, where the remaining consciousness leaves the body and ventures into a spiritual existence, or reborn into another life. This is especially believed in Indian cultures that practise Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Hinduism. This can either be a reward, or a punishment depending on how they conducted themselves in their previous life. Abrahamic religions, that consist of the Baháʼí Faith, Islam, Judaism and Christianity believe in the dark and the light, the good and the evil. They all have their versions of Heaven, and Hell, where varying degrees of suffering and reward are subjected to the deceased depending on their level of sin during their lives.

“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.” – Pope Francis

As you can read above, Pope Francis said in 2013 that be believed that atheists would enter Heaven if they lived their lives following their conscience. If an atheist adopts a humanist approach and lives a kind and virtuous life, surely any compassionate god would forgive them if it turns out Heaven does exist? We are approaching 8,000,000,000 on this planet, and some are by nature good, and some aren’t; but theists and non theists are individuals with different personalities, desires, morals and ethics. So how can an afterlife, or a Heaven be a personal experience for everyone? Is it an irrational concept to imagine an eternity as a spirit?

What will people do forever?

Surely it would get boring as I’m sure there are no bars, social clubs, sporting events or holiday companies.

Why would anyone use this life to plan for that?

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Is our body mortal but our soul or spirit immortal? Personally I think that when we die it’s like turning a switch off and once brain activity ceases we are no more, but over thousands of years, various cultures and religions have questioned what happens after death. Is the afterlife no more than just wishful thinking and is it just to give people hope in that death might not be the end? When people have supposedly died, and they’ve claimed to have seen a tunnel of light, surely this is just electrical activity of the brain and if you were truly on your way to judgement, would you even remember after you’re brought back to life?

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.” – Carl Sagan