In the process of trying to understand why anyone would want to do something that goes so against the basic design and instinct for survival, I came across this article by Tony Robbins, a well known inspirational speaker and much more who describes the things that make us tick in terms of 6 human needs. Each one of these has an empowering and a disempowering expression as explained in the article.
The first of these is the need for Certainty, the need to feel in control and to know what’s coming next so we can feel secure. It’s the need for basic comfort, to avoid pain and stress, and to create pleasure. It is a survival mechanism. It affects how much risk we’re willing to take in life—in our jobs, in our investments, and in our relationships. The higher the need for certainty, the less risk you’ll be willing to take or emotionally bear.
Then I stumbled upon a TED talk by Mark Henick, a brave young man who talks about his personal experiences with mental ill health and suicidal attempts from a very young age. He makes a point that suicide is not ‘committed’ (unlike rape and murder that are) ever since it was decriminalized many decades ago. He talks about having a ‘collapsed’, ‘limited’ and ‘shrunken’ perception ‘squeezing out that instinctual hope’ which makes one think that there are no choices except suicide. The most attractive thing about this particular choice being – Certainty, being in control of your life and knowing that this will definitely be the end of a miserable existence.
To end one’s life to have certainty – what a contradiction!