Puppy Love isn’t just just the glassy-eyed look that teen girls get when watching Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Nope, it’s an actual condition in which teens show a number of manic and risky behaviors.
It seems that there is some scientific evidence to show that adolescents who feel ‘madly in love’ may be right. They actually are ‘mad’.
Lovestruck teens show many of the symptoms of a condition called ‘hypomania’ (a less pronounced form of regular mania) in which they sleep about an hour less that teens who aren’t smitten. They also act more compulsively, spend more money, drive faster, and pass more notes in class. (The note’s also have 500% more hearts and balloon writing on them than normal class notes.)
One study demonstrated that youngins in early-stage intense romantic love acted exactly as psychiatric patients during a hypomanic stage, concluding that intense romantic love in teenagers is a “psychopathologically prominent stage”.
Oddly enough, the symptoms of hypomania overlap with those of regular mania. These symptoms are visible in teens as periods of depression, endless texting to friends, ‘Do not enter’ signs appearing on their bedroom doors, an inability to be ‘understood by anyone, and a pronounced decrease in how cool they think their parents are. Don’t worry, there’s nothing you can do about this. (You may still want to hide the car keys and affix a geo-locator to your teen.)
Ah, the wonder of those teenage years. Hair sprouting everywhere and mania to boot.