You have probably felt the urge before. You are on a cliff, looking down at the waves crashing below you and you feel like you should jump. You really want to jump. Or you are standing on the rooftop of your friend’s new apartment that overlooks the city and get a little close to the edge, and before you know it, you feel it again. I should totally jump.
You are not suicidal at all. The feeling has nothing to do with what will happen to your body once you take that step and jump off the cliff, you just feel a push to do it. Some people are terrified of heights and some people are afraid that they are going to jump off a height. They don’t want to die, not even a little bit, they just want to… jump. Why? What’s up with that?
Well, we are not really sure. The studies that have been done are rather new, as recent as 2012. The result of that study give us a small glimpse into what might be going on. There is no major correlation between feeling suicidal and feeling the pull of jumping, but people who have thought of suicide are more likely to feel like jumping off. In fact, the urge may just be your brain telling you that it would be totally safe to do it. You lean out of a ledge and really quickly realize that it is way too high, so you push yourself back. You look at the ledge again and it all looks quite alright and safe. So if you thought it was safe, why did you back up so quickly? Well, your brain thinks that you must have wanted to jump. According to the study, if you feel the urge to jump, you are probably just misinterpreting the brain telling you that you need to be safe.
Though you may just be in it for the thrill.
Why do you want to leap?
Well, we are not sure, not quite yet. What we do know is that there is a nice French name for it that translates to “The Call of the Void,” so you can at least impress your friends with that.