- Published on Sunday, 01 April 2012 18:21
- Written by Rafiqua Israel
There’s nothing quite like an adrenaline rush, but at which point does a hobby become a dangerous addiction?
Have you ever considered jumping out of a plane with nothing but a parachute to keep you safe? Or bungee-jumped off a tall structure while connected to an elastic cord? If yes is your answer, then you are one of many thrill-seekers out there obsessed with obtaining an adrenaline rush.
High-risk leisure activities, such as bungee-jumping, glacier-climbing, sky-diving and freestyle motocross are on the increase in popularity. Slowly, more and more people are subjecting themselves to scary situations in order to experience the highs these scary situations produce.
Psychological studies have found that certain people have thrill-seeking personalities that motivate them to do more scary activities. They have been found to be lacking structures in the brain which act as brakes on the “feel-good” chemical, dopamine. Simply put; the more dopamine, the easier one can become addicted to adrenaline.
Thrill seekers therefore thrive on anxiety-provoking situations. They are constantly trying to push the envelope and endure the thrills many choose not to experience.
The heart-pounding, palms-sweating situations are unlike any other experience, including sex, and thus nothing can match the euphoric experience accompanying being scared.
Are these scientifically proven facts, however, enough to be able to rationalise this type of risky behaviour? Or are they just the mask irrational people hide behind?
The label “adrenaline junkies” allows for ageing people to act in an uncontrollable manner without dire consequences. The term frames these daredevils in a positive light, neglecting negative consequences.
Anyone with a rational thinking process will be aware of the pros and cons associated with risky behaviour. Participation in life-endangering activities clearly shows everyone the lack of logical reasoning you possess. Not to mention the amount of money spent in this costly behaviour.
Thrill-seeking behaviour seems to be a pathetic way to reclaim one’s feeling of youthfulness. Ageing people need to come to terms with their age rather than attempt to reclaim their youth.
The most mind-blowing reality to any non-thrill-seeker is that thrill-seekers will stop at nothing. Once they have conquered a dangerous activity, they look for something to top the previous.
It is a cycle without an end. They will stop at nothing in order to get the hit of adrenaline that they so badly crave. It can sadly be said that it seems they will only stop when they stare death in the face.