"I love you more than I can stand!" - romantic love, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and sleep complaints are related among young adults

Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2014 Aug;18(3):169-74. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2014.902072. Epub 2014 May 5.

Abstract

Background: Falling in love is a universal human behavior. Studies indicate that both adolescents and adults experience romantic love (RL) and emotional states of joy and happiness. However, there is evidence that among adolescents RL is also associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety, but no data on these associations are available for adults. The aim of the present study was therefore to explore the associations between RL, symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypomania, and sleep among a sample of Iranian adults.

Methods: One hundred adults (mean age: 26 years; 53% males) took part in the study. They completed a series of questionnaires related to RL, symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypomania, and sleep.

Results: An increased state of RL was associated with the bright side of hypomania, stronger symptoms of depression and state anxiety, and better sleep quality. There was no relation to sleep duration.

Conclusions: Unlike psychobiological studies assessing highly selected samples of adults happily in love, the present pattern of results shows that in adults, RL is not entirely a joyful and happy period of life. Rather, data suggest that for young adults, falling in love might be a critical life event also associated with uncertainty and unpleasant feelings.

Keywords: Romantic love; anxiety; depression; early adulthood; sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Love*
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Report
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology*
  • Sleep*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Young Adult