Adolescents who claim they are “madly in love” might not be too far off the mark: a new study suggests that they show almost manic behaviors.

Serge Brand of the Psychiatric University Clinics in Basel, Switzerland, and his colleagues surveyed 113 teenagers at around 17 years of age, asking them to complete questionnaires about their conduct and mood and to keep a log of their sleep patterns. Of those, 65 indicated they had recently fallen in love and experienced intense romantic emotions.

The lovestruck teenagers showed many behaviors resembling “hypomania” a less intense form of mania. For example, they required about an hour less sleep each night than teens who didn’t have a sweetheart. They were also more likely to report acting compulsively, with 60% saying they spent too much money compared with fewer than 30% of teenagers who were not in love.

Moreover, the lovestruck teens were more than twice as likely to say they had lots of ideas and creative energy. Worryingly, they were also more likely to say they drove fast and took risks on the road.

“We were able to demonstrate that adolescents in early-stage intense romantic love did not differ from patients during a hypomanic stage,” say the researchers. This leads them to conclude that intense romantic love in teenagers is a “psychopathologically prominent stage”.

They add that psychiatrists should take this information into account when assessing adolescent patients who are having trouble sleeping and are showing other behavioural changes.

The symptoms of hypomania overlap with those of mania, which is diagnosed as bipolar disorder when accompanied by periods of depression.

Journal reference: Journal of Adolescent Health

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting reading. Falling in love or having a crush on someone as a teenager is just a normal part of growing up. It helps teenagers deal with greater pressures in later stages of life when any romantic relationships they may have are more serious and are of a long term nature.

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  2. Where’s everybody gone? Sony Ericsson, Baby C, Cutey, Sweet thang etc. I hope you’re not all having a party without me.
    It feels weird to blogg alone, so I’m also out of here… to get some puppy love<: -p

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  3. fya basungu ifi,they have hormone jumping around in the whole body. ifwe in our teens they pulled our chix nga chita ifya bupuba.you cant even tumpa.

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  4. Lusakatimes how about topics that have something to do with Zambia not some european teenage problems. I think you should broaden your horizons and have an entertainment section and interview local artists. Then you should have like a court news section and the rest, basically am telling you to step your game up. Too many stories on politics and irrelevant issues.

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  5. There is a lot of information that is missing from the article, such as did they have pressure of speech, did they exhibit grandiose ideas , did they have insight , what was the during of the observed lack of sleep. TO me this looks like an amateur kind of study . Its normal for teenagers to behave that way ,something neuropsychologists cause re-organisation of executive functions . So you would want to consider or rule out the executive dysfunction syndrome and not mania or hypomania. This makes me say it was an amateur study.

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  6. Ba LT munasila ,mwenze bantu kudala i think I will just end up paying the $10 the post newspaper asks for.. They average more stories per day and tell me relevant issues.

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  7. when *==ians get lovestuck naturally all hell breaks loose, parents go beserk, telling you there’s no such a thing like falling in love.. you have to wait for someone you dont know or love to come and ask your hand for marriage, at the end of it, as a woman you fall into a marriage without love, but a deal concerning money (lobola) made by your parents and the dude, who fancies you but does not deserve YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. This is based on the Switzerland teens who live in an enviroment different from ours. A person,s behavoiur is based on GENERIC inheritance from the parents and ENVIROMENT in which s/he lives in. Where can a 18 yr old get money to spend extravagantly in Zambia? Its only about5%.:((

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  9. ba LT ekupwa uku. some stories are really boring. i thot your main aim is to talk about issue that affect us as zedians, wat has this research gat to do with us? rubbish. move around the country and get us research stories from kwa Mpezeni where he is busy shagging his subjects, for example.

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  10. nine chale

    dont leave to fast trying to get puppy love you may just regret it,today is sunday remember to getting to chuch is a better idea….

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  11. it is possible for zambian teens to relate to this research, cos they spend more time trying to be western than indiginous. moreover they are more socailly involved than we used to be, their teen time parties go later than 17hrs- if they are even in the day- their weekends are more of chilling at shopping malls and RPOs, (zambain breweries Right Price Outlates)- instead of going to school games like we used to. they have enough time to do what ever they want.

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  12. Guys the study quoted was from July 2007! Based on that study one can only conclude that teenagers in love show some minor features of mania.As do adults for that matter. Relevance?

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