New Research Press Briefing: Nosology, Neurobiology and Treatment of Love Addiction

New York, NY – An intriguing literature review by Dr. Vineeth John of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston questions whether people can be addicted to love and also, if “love addiction” might be a diagnosable disorder.

Dr. John describes love addiction as a pattern of behavior characterized by a maladaptive, pervasive and excessive interest towards one or more romantic partners. The condition results in withdrawal from other interests and a lack of personal control with negative consequences. It is often associated with elevated degree of psychological suffering and significant impact on one’s ability to function in society and can be cooccurring with substance dependence disorders and other behavioral addictions such as sex or gambling disorders. Love addiction could be considered as an addiction behavior, but it could also happen as part of a mood disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or rarely as part of a psychotic process resulting in erotomania.

The research in love addiction explores the similarities between clinical and neurobiological aspects of addiction and attachment behavior as it is now known that attachment and addiction share overlapping neural circuits. The research sheds light on the role of various neurotransmitters and hormones such as dopamine, opioid hormone, vasopressin and oxytocin which are implicated in romantic love and also proposes hypothetical treatment guidelines for this condition based on the current neurobiological findings.

Dr. Vineeth John currently serves as the Associate Professor and Adult Psychiatry Residency Program Director at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston( UT Health). Dr. John also has an MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business. Prior to his arrival at Houston, Dr. John held positions of academic leadership at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. Dr. John has won various awards for teaching and has published numerous articles and case reports in leading medical journals. At UT Health, Dr. John has been actively involved in the care of elderly patients with various psychiatric illnesses.

Dr. John will present his research at the 2014 APA New Research Press Briefing on May 4th from 11:00 a.m. till noon EDT time at the Javits Convention Center room 2D10. The briefing will also be steamed live via interactive webinar at

Dr. John’s research poster will be presented on Tuesday May 6th from 2:30pm- 4:00pm in the Javits exhibit hall at the APA Annual meeting in New York.

Follow @APAPsychiatric and hashtag #APAAM14 to find out the latest Annual Meeting news.

“Like” American Psychiatric Association on Facebook to receive Annual Meeting updates.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society representing more than 35,000 physician members specializing in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at




Media Contacts

Erin Connors, 202-609-7113

Press Line, 202-459-9732