This recent study into the science of the love hormone oxytocin found that it is not only active in love and social bonding but it is also active in negative social bonding.
Oxytocin appears to have many effects in the body. It plays a role in sexual reproduction and is released in large amounts during childbirth. During child birth it helps to stimulate maternal bonding. It is also released during breastfeeding. This makes it so important to breastfeed children to enhance the mother child bond.
Besides maternal bonding we see that oxytocin is involved in various types of social bonding. It has roles in not love and pair bonding, social recognition and orgasm.
But it is oxytocin’s role in social memories that can lead it to creating anxiety. So when we have negative social interactions oxytocin intensifies that memory. This can make for long term emotional difficulties leading to anxiety and depression.
You’ll find that some consider oxytocin an anti-anxiety compound however this recent research means that any use of oxytocin for anxiety needs to be preceded with caution.