Adrenaline Addiction and Risk-Taking Behavior.
Have you ever gone to an amusement park and ridden a roller coaster? Perhaps you have been driving and had a near accident and were filled with adrenaline in the moment after? That rush of emotion, excitement, and relief is caused by a release of adrenaline into the body. For some, this release is something they enjoy so much it becomes an adrenaline addiction. These people are sometimes called adrenaline junkies.
An adrenaline junkie is defined as someone who has a compulsive desire for excitement and adventure. This does not mean that you occasional like to push the limits and enjoy a roller coaster ride. Or even try your hand at bungee jumping or horseback riding. It is a compulsive need to continually chase the adrenaline-fueled feeling that some activity once produced. The problem is, even adrenaline junkies plateau. At some point the first activity that produced the feeling no longer works. The more risks taken is when the problem truly takes hold.
Are you Addicted to Adrenaline
Just as with every addiction, adrenaline and risk taking addicts come in all shapes and forms. While most people think of an adrenaline junkie as one who takes part in extreme measures, there are also more subtle ways that people show this addiction. Think of it this way. Stress produces adrenaline so some people thrive on the stress created by an overbooked schedule. Such as the rush of shoplifting. Even something like waiting until the last minute to meet a deadline for example. The adrenaline level may not be as instant or extreme as jumping out of a plane, but the feeling for that person is the same. Some people even create the rush by creating drama and crises in their own lives. This may be intentional or unintentional. They are the people that not only survive under pressure, but work their best under those conditions.
If you think you or someone you know may have an addiction to adrenaline then look for these signs. Someone who always has a crisis in their life, either real or overblown, or tend to surround themselves with troubled souls who always need help, may have a problem. Students or workers who wait until the last minute to get a project done or are always rushing, may have an issue. For those who are always rushing, if they do have a break in their schedule, they may take on more just to stay extremely busy. Finally, people who seem to create drama by exploding in anger or causing scenes, may also have an issue.
There are several others that could be added to this list. However it is likely you are already seeing yourself or someone else in the shared examples. This does not mean that this person just happens to fall into these situations, but that they continually happen over many years.
Dealing with an Adrenaline Addiction
If you have identified yourself as an adrenaline junkie or addict then there are ways to help yourself. While extreme cases may require psychotherapy to understand why this feeling is so important to you. There are also some home techniques that can be beneficial.
The first step is to take the ‘crisis’ edge off of your daily life. Pair down on stressful activities and learn the difference in a real crisis and something you are trying to create a crisis in. Some situations are slightly stressful. However, allowing them to become or appear overblown means you are searching for the feeling. Next, learn and practice relaxation techniques. This will not only help combat the effects on the body and mind of chronic stress, but help you function without the adrenaline. Some people find meditation or yoga helps. While others may find light exercise, nothing extreme, is better.
If you need help learning these skills then DARA can help. There are healthier options to create a fun and entertaining life than overly stressing activities. Get the help to find balance that you need. You are worth it.
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