DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a summer rite of passage for many – standing in line to be scared beyond your wildest dreams. But why exactly do some people love roller coasters?

Howard Belkin, attending psychiatrist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, said for some people, the reason is rooted in a deep psychological need to conquer something.

Put it this way, if your life is full of ups and down, twists and turns, actually enduring that on a ride and coming out just fine on the other end gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Dr. Belkin said when we ride roller coasters, the release of adrenalin and dopamine makes our hearts pound and give us that rush that so many get addicted to.

Listen to Deena Centofanti’s report:


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