The human body can do fascinating things, such as heal itself and perform amazing feats of strength. We are programmed with a defense system and the ability to cope with stress and danger. However, even the natural physiological responses that our bodies produce can become addicting. There are some people that are addicted to the release of certain hormones in the body, and they can be as controlled by this addiction as drug addicts and alcoholics. These addicts are called adrenaline junkies, and they are addicted to adrenaline, it’s the high they feel when a surge of adrenaline rushes through their body.
Adrenaline for Defense
Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is made naturally by the human body, and it is the key to the “fight or flight” response that we have to any kind of danger. When we experience something scary or life threatening, our body instantly releases a hefty dose of adrenaline, causing our heart rate to raise, our pupils to dilate, and our reflexes to quicken. In nature, adrenaline provides animals with a rush of strength to fight for their life or to flee quickly to safety.
The human response to adrenaline is to feel a high that provides satisfaction and power. When the high is over, we often feel weak or even depressed. For many people, coming off an adrenaline high is much the same as coming off a drug-induced high, and it makes them crave the feeling. Some people become addicted to adrenaline highs, and the result is that they constantly participate in activities that stimulate adrenaline, such as skydiving, racing, and extreme sports.
Being Addicted to Adrenalin Leads to Problems with Thrill Seeking
While many people are thrill seekers and enjoy taking on challenges, others are psychologically addicted to their adrenaline high. This becomes a problem when finding a way to get that high begins to control one’s life. An adrenaline junkie may have a hard time with responsibilities and relationships, and may have little regard for their own safety, much like a drug addict or an alcoholic. In fact, for many adrenaline addicts the transition to substance addiction is an easy one, because the highs they experience are so much alike.
There are actually support groups for those suffering with an adrenaline addiction. Adrenaline Addicts Anonymous is one such group, and it helps people who have become obsessed with dangerous activities learn how to live a more balanced life.