"Love Addict" is a new documentary from director Pernille Gronkjaer that explores the concept of love addiction, which the film's website describes as "the all-consuming obsession to obtain and arrest the love of others."
Gronkjaer joined HuffPost Live host Janet Varney recently to discussion of the film and the concept of love addiction — said to disproportionately affect women — as well as to share a clip from the movie.
In the clip, an actress named Eliza depicts a real-life love addict, a "young woman lost in an obsessive infatuation, stalking a guy barely aware of her existence." She is seen poring over her scrapbook of photos of him, imagining their nonexistent relationship.
Gronkjaer said that Eliza's character lives in a "fantasy universe," and that one reason love addiction is more commonly associated with women than with men is due to this fantasy element.
"It is a difficult thing for men to come out and say, because it's a fantasy universe in a way, and that tends to often go with the female side of love thinking," she said. "But there are more and more men coming out in the meetings, so I would say they're on their way."
Dr. Reef Karim cautioned that "love addiction is not a clinical term" and "has almost zero data behind it," but acknowledged the compilation of symptoms a a reality.
"I call it more of a relational disorder," he said. "It's a disorder focused on how you develop and have developed relationships in your life. Most of the time it's completely fantasy-driven, and you had an attachment problem growing up."