What lies behind the interest in someone's death and whether we should be afraid of the inner desire to learn about its cause

By Jurassic JennApr 13, 2024 14:39 PMPsychology
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What lies behind the interest in someone's death
What lies behind the interest in someone's death. Source: www.prospect-hospice.net

Curiosity about someone's death may seem strange, but it is a natural feature of the human psyche. When we find out that someone has died, especially at an early age, it causes a flurry of painful emotions and complex questions, where the main one is: how did it happen?

SSPDaily writes: "Whether we knew the deceased well or they were a complete stranger, some of us tend to obsess over finding out the cause of death." Psychologists say that someone's untimely passing destroys our sense of the normalcy of the world.

And with it, the belief in a long life is destroyed. And the search for reasons is a protective reaction of the brain that saves us from anxiety about all the bad things that can happen.

We are afraid of death, and it's natural

People have a natural fear of their own death, so when they hear about a person's untimely death, it can give them a sense of control over the situation to know how they died and try to prevent it. So when we hear about someone who dies at a young age, it reminds us not only of our own mortality, but also that we are not immune to this at any time.

People are curious by nature

The desire to know the cause of death also stems from our natural curiosity. In addition, the availability of the Internet and social media makes not knowing something an incomplete information, i.e. a challenge that intensifies the difficult emotions associated with a tragic and shocking loss.

Psychologists explain that this neurological need to understand how and why someone died is related to the concept of "cognitive closure," which means the motivation to seek answers to ambiguous situations.

For example, Becky Stumpfig, a psychotherapist from Southern California, states: "We all need cognitive closure to varying degrees, and this need often increases during stressful events such as death. Our brains struggle with the unknown, and when we can answer the 'why' and dispel the mystery surrounding the loss, it brings us comfort. Even if we don't have the exact information, our minds can latch onto any answers we can gather."

How bad is it?

Science says that there is nothing wrong with trying to resolve internal conflicts by seeking more information. In this case, the desire to find out the exact cause of death when someone dies at a young age is most likely rooted in the fact that we are trying to reassure ourselves. And additional information on a particular occasion makes us understand why these circumstances do not threaten us.

This impulse can become problematic for the psyche if the desire to find out the cause of someone's death becomes obsessive and interferes with everyday life. In this case, you should take a step back and not let it affect your life.

How to avoid feeling consumed by the need to know?

If you feel consumed by the desire to know the cause of a person's death, try to change your thinking.

  • Analyze the source of your dissatisfaction and ask yourself what you see as the benefits of knowing the cause of death and the harms of not knowing.
  • Try to determine whether your feelings about getting this information are related to something in your own life.
  • Ask yourself if your desire for this information is related to a deeper issue that you should address with a professional therapist.
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