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Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Obsessive thoughts, erratic mood swings, insomnia, loss of appetite, recurrent and persistent images and impulses, superstitious or ritualistic compulsions, delusion, the inability to concentrateexhibiting just five or six of these symptoms is enough to merit a diagnosis of a major depressive episode. Yet we all subconsciously welcome these symptoms when we allow ourselves ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published January 3rd 2005 by Da Capo Lifelong Books
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Sep 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
The title of this book is a bit misleading and no doubt was chosen to get browsers attention. The book is not an anti-romantic rant. It doesnt try to denigrate love or deny its power and beauty. Even if youre an incurable, dyed-in-the-wool romantic, you can still read this book without finding it offensive. Well, maybe you will feel furious on occasions, as the book attempts to prick your romantic balloon, especially with its heavy use of evolutionary psychology. (Sorry, but love really is just ...more
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was loaned to me by a friend. I told her that most people mistake sensationalism for genuine affection. Thus started a debate in which I was (jokingly) accused of being severe. (Me? Ha- rumph!) I claimed that losing your head to reason; being selfish in your pursuit of pleasure; engaging in high-risk behavior; and alienating everyone with goopy melodrama does not make a person a romantic; it makes them troubled. IMHO, such behaviors are self-indulgent and damaging. Yet our culture ...more
Adam Stevenson
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love can be painful and can go wrong. Incurable Romantic consists of a number of case studies where the sexual and romantic areas of life have soured or gone wrong in some way; there is demonic possession, relentless obsession and the odd case of depression.

Mixed in with the case studies are personal anecdotes and general explorations into different areas of psychoanalytical history - even some areas that are a little dodgy like Wilhelm Reich and his orgone accumulators.

The book says is
Rose B.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Frank Tallis help us make some sense of this crazy thing called love from an evolutionary and scientific point of view. The symptoms a person displays when in love, he argues, are remarkably similar to being mentally ill. Melancholy, sleeplessness, preoccupation with the beloved, daydreaming, obsession, jealousy, seeing the other person as perfect are some of the characteristics we all have experienced at some point in our lives. This necessary madness, however, is the one thing that ensures ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-shelf
A solid take on considering love through a prism of psychological disturbances (obsessions, delusions, anxieties, addictions, etc), drawing heavily on literature, mostly English (Burton, Byron, Darwin, Hume, Mann, Shakespeare, etc) and romantics (Stendhal, Goethe), but ventures into Tolstoy or Dostoyevski, Avicenna (Ibn Sina), covers Plato, Hippocrates, Lara Croft and even Dalai Lama views on love. As for a work of 2004 it's strangely based on pre-2000 research and (I assume) therapeutical ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, accessible and entertaining guide to 'love', looking at its evolutionary roots, history and purpose. Tallis had a very engaging writing style, and the book is packed with engaging insights and fun facts. I didn't quite buy into the central premise of the book, namely that love may be a mental illness, but this was a fantastic read nonetheless.
Cameron Macdonald
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book that views love as an emotional endeavour that at times has the lover act irrationally. The book focuses on romantic love which most modern books on love do suggesting love is different for romantic lovers than for other lovers. This is mostly down to the fact that falling in love is considered a part of love rather than being or staying in love by Tallis.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recommend to anyone dating.
Jayasri Srinivasan
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant analysis! Insightful, wise and compassionate.
Worth reading many times over.
Jo-jean Keller
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't agree with everything Tallis says but he challenged my thought processes!
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative popular psychology book trying to identify what love is, how it has emerged and the role it plays in the evolution of the human species. Turns out that love is a chemical construct that arose out of evolutionary necessity (the need to establish a strong bond between the mother and the father in order to allow the human child to survive infancy - for a finite amount of time), developed as a chemical bond between mother and infant allowing for the propagation of the species.
Love is
Tim Petersik
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
To the best of my knowledge, Tallis was the first to show detailed relationships between the criteria we use to diagnose mental illness and the symptoms of those who are "love sick." It's not a particularly well-written book, but it's fun to consider the overlap between conditions we consider normal, but extreme (e.g., love sickness), and those we think of as psychopathology.
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life changingly good
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Insightful but I wish there was a bit more on how to love "sanely". One to own I think and revisit over the years.
Siavash habibi
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
kheili jalebe!
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don't view love as a mental illness, though it's sometimes seemed that way to me because I'm so emotional, but there is a lot of interesting analysis in this book.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
An entertaining read! :) love it.
Nikki Rose
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book slyly talks about the merits of madness in a way that is quite hard to argue with. I really enjoyed reading about the various aspects of love and madness that are addressed.
Tom Kline
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Feb 15, 2008
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Mar 11, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jul 19, 2013
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Feb 03, 2018
Kim A.
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Aug 21, 2011
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Feb 16, 2020
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Aug 03, 2008
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Nov 23, 2009
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Aka F.R. Tallis.

Dr. Frank Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. He has held lecturing posts in clinical psychology and neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry and King's College, London. He has written self help manuals (How to Stop Worrying, Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions) non-fiction for the general reader (Changing Minds, Hidden Minds, Love Sick), academic text books and

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