Exploring the lived-experience of limerence: a journey toward authenticity

Willmott, Lynn and Bentley, Evie (2015) Exploring the lived-experience of limerence: a journey toward authenticity. The Qualitative Report, 20 (1). pp. 20-38. ISSN 1052-0147

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Limerence is an acute onset, unexpected, obsessive attachment to one person, the Limerent Object, which is rarely reported in scientific literature. Presented here is an interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the lived-experience of six international Limerent respondents. The condition's unique and common journey is conceptualised in a Limerence Trajectory, which is characterized by generally sequential yet overlapping super-ordinate themes. The themes primarily regard experiences of ruminative thinking, free floating anxiety and depression temporarily fixated and the disintegration of the self. These themes are further linked to an inclination to reintegrate unresolved past life(s) experiences and to progress to a state of greater authenticity, i.e. being truer to one's inner self. A paradigm shift is identified in the realization that both a real and idealized Limerent Object are involved which may relate to attachment anxieties. Symptomology relating to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, addiction, separation anxiety and depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, disassociated states and maladaptive fantasy are discussed. The study authors and respondents collective aim is to promote awareness, research and resources for Limerent Experiencers and those who seek to support them.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Limerence, Obsession, Attachment, Anxiety, Depression
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology
Depositing User: Lynn Willmott
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 10:31
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2015 10:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45935
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