Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Addicted to Adrenaline

When I think of addictions, the first type that comes to mind is a drug addiction. Of course there are many other prevalent types of addictions such as alcohol, sex, gambling etc. But I never really thought an addiction to adrenaline was possible. I learned more about adrenaline addiction when I stumbled upon a special about it on National Geographic's "Taboo" last week. This episode featured different types of addictions but the one that I could not wrap my head around was this adrenaline addiction. There was a man who worked solely to save up enough money to engage in extreme cliff gliding. He had to go to another country (I believe it was New Zealand) because this sport was outlawed in many countries. It was not your "typical" cliff gliding sport (if you can even call cliff gliding typical). You had to wear a full bodysuit where you spread out your arms and legs and literally glide in the air like a bird. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen! The man the show featured had been in several accidents but couldn't get enough of that high. He even showed a picture of himself and about 10 friends from a few years back and he said that half of them had since died doing this sport. But that did not deter him.

A psychiatrist on the show explained that at any given day, the man's serotonin and dopamine levels were not consistent with the average person's. He needed that adrenaline high in order to almost level out. He definitely had the sensation seeking trait because he was willing to risk his life in order to fulfill that desire for adrenaline.

I looked everywhere on the internet for information on this episode and cannot find it anywhere! Instead I found another video of the exact same sport from the episode. It really is amazing but entirely too dangerous for me!

(Source: YouTube.com)

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