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Atticus® Practice Advisor Nora Bergman has updated the list of what it means to be addicted to adrenaline. She was quoted in an article soon to be published by the Orange County Bar Association. It’s particularly important to those of us who are further addicted to the hit of dopamine we get in the reward center of our brain every time we hear the ping of a new e-mail or the sound of a fresh text arriving on our phone. Here’s an excerpt in which she lists the behaviors we might want to notice:

You might be an adrenaline addict if you find that more than a few of the following characteristics apply to you:

  • You cannot go more than five minutes without checking your smart phone;
  • You check your email (and texts) in the middle of the night;
  • You race from meeting to meeting with no time in between;
  • You chronically “over-promise” and “under-deliver”;
  • You always feel overwhelmed;
  • You’re usually running late;
  • You arrive at the office first thing in the morning and are already feeling behind.

These are just a few of the telltale signs of adrenaline addiction. Medical studies show a critical link between the hormone cortisol, triggered by adrenaline release, and heart disease. Adrenaline is the most potent stimulant created by our sympathetic nervous system and there are a host of negative consequences that accompany a constant adrenaline drain. It’s a created response to stress and increases heart rate, pulse rate and blood pressure – there is a high price to pay for the bursts of energy you may have come to depend on. Chronic stress can be a gateway to depression. The important point to remember is that we are not built to have adrenaline coursing through our veins 24/7; but, unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens with adrenaline addicts. You can read more at Nora’s blog.

In his article, The Painful Reality of Adrenaline Addiction, Patrick Lencioni goes on to explain:

“Unlike other addicts whose behavior is frowned upon, adrenaline addicts are often praised for their frantic activity, even promoted for it during their careers… When confronted about their problem, adrenaline addicts (I’m a recovering one myself) will tell you about their endless list of responsibilities and all the people who need their attention. And while they’ll often complain about their situation, they’ll quickly brush off any constructive advice from spouses, friends or co-workers who ‘just don’t understand’.”



Atticus, Inc.

This article was written by an Atticus staff member.

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