By: Marylin Salgado
May 7, 2019
Is Adrenaline addiction a real psychological condition? According to Dr. Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., yes, it is.
What is an Adrenaline Junkie?
Sensation seeking behavior, or as we commonly refer to as adrenaline junkies, are individuals who dangerously seek extreme sports or any activity that involves a significant amount of danger.
Psychologist Zuckerman defines sensation-seeking behavior as the pursuit of novel and intense experiences without regard for physical, social, legal, or financial risk. Sensation-seeking is a general personality trait. And like any personality trait, it is more than 50 percent determined by heredity. – Dr. Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D.
Adrenaline junkies also seek dangerous jobs, such as those who disarm bombs, people who run 10 to 15 miles multiple days a week to seek runners high, and even soldiers; who seek high risk assignments in Iraq, because although they are not out to kill anyone, they like the rush obtained when they are close to attacking or shooting the enemy.Most individuals who seek this rush may also be addicted to alcohol or street drugs during off times. In other words, when these individuals are not participating in extreme sports or have not left the country on a military mission, then they seek the high they would get from their jobs or sports by using alcohol and street drugs to replace that rush.
Consequences of Sensation Seeking BehaviorThe behavior can start with something as simple as changing lanes in the highway. There is a certain rush of swapping lanes without blinking the signal light. Then before you know it, you are cutting every other car on the highway, including trucks. After a few weeks, this excitement ends, and you might find yourself trying to race a train across the tracks. If you accomplish to come out of this unscathed, or luckily alive, then you will seek some other sensation seeking behavior to give you another high. This might include bungee jumping and other such high-risk events. You will continue seeking high sensation, adrenaline rushing behaviors without regards to your safety or those of others.
Desperately Seeking Sensation: Fear, Reward, and the Human Need for Novelty
Fear, Reward, and the Human Need for Novelty
April 18, 2019
Beyond understanding why one person relishes the fright factor while the next studiously avoids it, scientists are asking how sensation-seeking relates to risky behaviors such as fast driving, drug experimentation, and risky sex, as well as psychiatric disorders ranging from substance use disorder to bipolar disorder–areas where the public-health implications are most clear. The hope is that by understanding the neural mechanisms underlying such behaviors, both at the molecular level and at the systems level, it might be possible to develop therapeutic interventions–pharmacological, behavioral, or neurostimulatory–that might prevent the deleterious effects of risk-taking or help people channel their taste for adventure toward safer pursuits.
So, how does this affect mass body builders and how does it relate to individuals who are seeking to grow and cut muscle? These individuals will pile up the testosterone supplements and caffeine, sometimes to unsafe levels to achieve the “pumped up” look. Some will resort to using dope or any other substances, such as steroids, to achieve higher resistance work out levels. Due to these factors, these individuals would fall under the sensation seeking behavior category.
Without some risk-taking behavior, humans would not have evolved as far as we have. Skyscrapers, bridges and other structures have required individuals with this type of behavior to accomplish these tasks. Even so, there is a difference between what is needed for progress, and what others do for high risk adventure.
Current studies have shown the difficulties, of creating programs to help individuals’ cope with sensation seeking behaviors. Most programs are geared towards removal of addictive substances, such as alcohol or street drugs, then trying to figure out why individuals seek certain types of sensation seeking behaviors. For those who have not yet started using alcohol or drugs, therapy is more challenging. So far, there is no definite sensation seeking behavior, but the personality trait and impulse behaviors are treated with talk therapy, medications, or if severe, hospitalizations.
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