DANGER IS MY MIDDLE NAME!
Don’t bore me with your caution
PREVIOUS: Risk AVERSE
SITE: “Risk-Taking behaviors”
As mentioned before, risk addicts are formed by a combination of growing up in a constantly chaotic & dangerous environment – along with a personal ‘preference’ for high stimulation. Studies include such causes as: Cognitive (risk perception), biological (hormonal effects), personality (sensation seeking tendency), and environmental factors / influences (parents and peer groups).
From TIME – Health & Family: “A new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City suggests a biological explanation for why certain people tend to live life on the edge — it involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, the brain’s feel-good chemical. It’s responsible for making us feel satisfied after a filling meal, happy when our favorite football team wins, or really happy when we use stimulating drugs like amphetamines or cocaine, which can artificially squeeze more dopamine out of the nerve cells in our brain.
• It’s also responsible for the high we feel when we do something daring, like skiing down a double black-diamond slope or skydiving out of a plane. In the risk taker’s brain, researchers report in the Journal of Neuro-science, there appear to be fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors — meaning that daredevils’ brains are more saturated with the chemical, predisposing them to keep taking risks and chasing the next high: driving too fast, drinking too much, overspending or even taking drugs.” (MORE….)
IN GENERAL – Not everyone with higher levels of dopamine pursue danger. But those of us who do are cut off from our True Self & a wide variety of emotions, especially the ones we think make us weak, such as sadness, vulnerability, terror & loneliness. (Review: large range of possible Es ). Such people feel empty inside, bored & dissatisfied with themselves (S-H). Along with a need for high stimulation – addiction to adrenal rush – they want to be different from the ‘average’ joe, whom they look down on, but secretly identify with. Risk-taking makes them feel in control, powerful, unique.
They love the attention they get from being daring, outspoken & flamboyant.
— When their actions are socially acceptable (sky diving, racing, bungee jumping, being a ‘special forces’ member, fire-fighter….) they bask in the awe & admiration of their peers & public.
— When their acting out is less socially acceptable, there may be few people to cheer them on. But their main ‘satisfaction’ is internal – getting away with something they’re not supposed to do, thumbing their nose at authority, with the mistaken belief that they are setting a boundary, expressing contempt for rules…. ALL being run by the Introject and/or the (adapted) WIC.
ACoAs: Risk-junkies were just as terrorized growing up as the risk-averse, but their unconscious ‘defense of choice’ is to be counter-phobic, ie. so numb to the fear they carry, that they need a high degree of stimulation (danger) just to feel alive. When ‘nothing is happening’ they feel let down – something is missing. YES – & it’s THEMSELVES! Under-riskers withdraw & hide out, while over-riskers push themselves to the limit & beyond.
SEVERE: A ‘strong’ emotional deadness (being VERY shut down) is similar to what people who cut themselves experience – they want to feel something but don’t know the safe & healthy way.
These ACoAs are more afraid of being still, of being quiet, of stopping long enough to hear their WIC voice of hysteria & feeling the panic, than dealing with all the outer dangers they put themselves in. Their anxiety gets poured into:
• addictions, esp. those involving high risk (sex, illegal drugs…)
• any illegal careers (prostitution, drug & gun trafficking, murder…)
• compulsive activity (always having to be on the go), EVEN things like running across a street with heavy traffic, as the light is changing!!
• dangerous avocations (various sports…)
• cheating on a spouse, on taxes, when buying something in a
• dating/marrying dangerous people (addicts, felons, abusers…)
• high pressure jobs (some: lawyers, agents, sales people..)
• high-risk legal careers (police, military, boxing, firefighting…)
These potentially dangerous activities are often described by adrenaline addicts as fun, exciting, the only way to live… Without the high, whatever the form, they might have to feel the pain of their damage, & they’ll do almost anything to avoid that. Like any addict, if for some reason they’re forced to give up that lifestyle (like getting into Recovery!) – they can experience:
• depression, feeling suicidal, hopeless
• feeling FLAT, that life’s boring, not worth it
• being unable to motivate themselves, in general
• great difficulty creating a new way to life that is both healthy and pleasurable
Fortunately, doing ‘the work’ & sometimes the right medication will help to lift the misery. We can pursue our dreams, without drama! Progress is it’s own re-enforcer.
NEXT: Healthy Risk