A human being is inclined to suicide due to his/her self-sacrificial instincts, which are also present in termites and other social animals as well

The phenomenon of suicide has found its place in the human society, that’s why, according to scientists from the USA, a human resembles an animal, as they both can develop the instinct of self-sacrifice. The instinct in this situation has an incorrect response.

self sacrifice

It is believed that the reasons for a person’s being able to commit suicide should be traced back to the deep evolutionary stages. American psychiatrists underline that we can notice the self-sacrificial instinct in the behavior of collective animals, this phenomenon is clearly described in the article from the journal “Psychological Review”.

When considering human behavior through the examples from the animal world, inhabiting the Earth, we can compare the social life of a human being with colonies and groups in ants, termites, gnawing animals, primates and mammals. Every individual has one protective mechanism that is absent in other animals. They are collectivists and they can sacrifice themselves for the well-being of the others.

For example, almost all social insects surrender the right to procreate to the dominant female insect in their colony, in termites it is the queen, and the rest of the inhabitants of the colony set about taking care of her progeny, meanwhile soldier termites and workers directly sacrifice themselves in order to protect the colony.

termite queen

Scientists have discovered an evolutionary explanation of the human inclinations to suicide

Thomas E. Joiner, Melanie A. Hom, Christopher R. Hagan, and Caroline Silva from Florida State University (Tallahassee, the USA) claim that this protective mechanism has the reverse side of the coin when speaking about humans, one of the most developed representative of the social animal group.

application-pdf The report of the scientists in the pdf-format can be downloaded at the link.

Everyday life is full of examples when people demonstrate self-sacrificial behavior. We can read about it in literature and meet in daily news. An obvious example to it is the facts when firefighters sacrifice their lives to save the ones of others, soldiers risk their lives for the sake of their homeland and ideals for prosperity of the nation. If we go deeper into our history, in the Middle Ages we can see old people leave their houses not to become a burden for their families and save them from difficulties.

Pre-sacrifice behavior

According to Thomas Joiner, if a person commits suicide, it means that there has occurred a failure in his/her self-sacrificial program. Such people believe that their death can benefit more the society than their life, and this becomes the ground for the suicide. This is a wrong assessment.

If compared the pre-sacrifice behavior in humans and animals, their actions demonstrate similarity. They become extremely anxious, they can stop sleeping and lose their appetite, weight. The surrounding people and animals can notice some differences in their usual behavioral pattern.

It is the psychological state of mind to blame here

The researches, fulfilled up to our days, demonstrate that more than 90% of suicide victims suffered from their mental disorder aggravation. The victims either were schizophrenic or had different other mental diseases, known in the medical practice. The authors of the article discuss these particular conditions and reasons.

According to Thomas Joiner and his collages, it is difficult to understand the suicide victim’s inner state due to the nature of the studied problem. Failed suicides are the only objects of the study. These people are being interviewed, the researchers ask questions concerning their vision on the value of life and death for the moment when the suicide attempt happened.

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