eli5 is there a scientific explanation or reason for intrusive thoughts or call of the void


Why do we have these thoughts, like driving down the road and just feel like swearing or being High up and feel like jumping down

In: 335

I would suggest talking to a therapist. You might be experiencing depression or anxiety or some other psychological issue that is causing you stress subconsciously. There’s no shame in talking to a licensed medical professional about your mental health.

If you feel a very strong urge to drive off the road or jump off a cliff, I would suggest a meeting with a therapist.

On the topic at hand, the Human brain evolves to have these kinds of thoughts. It allows you to simulate and prepare for unexpected situations. Basically, if you are driving then there is a chance that you might lose control and go off the road, so your brain urges you to think about the situation. So in the unlikely case that you actually go off the road, you’re already prepared for it.

So, the explanation i was taught is that everyone experiences these feelings or thoughts at one point or another in their lives, or atleast most people. It is perfectly normal and ok for it to happen.

It becomes a problem when it morphs into suicidal ideation; where you can’t just brush these thoughts away, and instead fantisize or imagine actually dying for more than a second or minute. And often.

I want to assure you that the two are distinct, and If you experience the latter, talking to a professional is advised.

As for *exactly why* the first one happens, there is no real conclusive evidence that i’ve come across, i learned about it through education about five years ago, so new science may have come out.

The call of the void is one of my favorite emotions, i feel truly alive when i realize that i am just a single action away from certain death, but i never act on this or long for it to happen, nor do i imagine my death in situations outside these short lived experiences.

I can’t find it now, but I read an article about this that supposed our reason for having these feelings is that we are analyzing the situation and we ultimately decide it’s a bad idea. The urge to do the thing isn’t so much your brain pushing you to do it, but rather considering what would happen if you did.

That said, there is nothing wrong with talking to a therapist if you really feel like acting on these things.