Are You Subconsciously a Daredevil?


Have you ever stood on a roof, a bridge, a ledge, or any other high place and wondered, “What if I jumped? The urge probably came out of nowhere and disappeared as quickly as it arrived. It turns out that this urge has a name — “High Place Phenomenon” (HPP). While unnerving, it’s actually a pretty common experience and has nothing to do with suicidal tendencies. Studies have shown that this urge may have a relatively straightforward scientific explanation. Quite simply, it related to the wiring of your brain. When you look down from a high place or are in some other potentially dangerous situation, your brain sends a warning signal like “Back up!” Instinctively, you back up, perhaps without realizing why. Then, when you think about what happened, you might mistakenly assume the safety warning was actually a desire to jump. Why does your brain go there? People with a higher sensitivity to anxiety are more likely to experience HPP. When it comes down to it, you most likely don’t need to feel concerned about experiencing HPP. In most cases, these thoughts don’t have a serious or significant meaning. There’s no evidence to suggest they play a part in any mental health condition or suicidal tendencies when they happen on their own and don’t cause you lasting distress.