L’Appel du Vide

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L’Appel du Vide

Postby crollsurf » Mon 11 Mar, 2019 7:52 pm

I suffer from L’Appel du Vide or "The call of the void" which scares me and causes anxiety later on.

I've finally read up on it and discovered it is quite common.

For those who don't know what it is, it's imagining jumping or having the urge to jump when standing on a cliff or high place.

The other day I walked to a number of cliff views but only one triggered my L’Appel du Vide and it got me thinking.

I'm curious to hear from others who suffer from the problem and whether they suffer from motion sickness or not.

I'm wondering if the way you use your senses for balance has something to do with it.

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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby Wollemi » Mon 11 Mar, 2019 10:55 pm

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appel_du_vide

Take yourself out of that environment - go flat-water kayaking instead?
Embrace your feelings - go rock-climbing, or abseiling down cliff faces in control of your speed, and hence your body and mind. Snow skiiers sometimes talk about 'throwing themselves downhill'. And all is well in the end.
Have a chat to a counsellor. You are valued.
Live everyday as if it were your last... one day you will be right.
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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby crollsurf » Mon 11 Mar, 2019 11:56 pm

Thanks wollemi.

It's not a fear of heights. I was a hang-glider pilot for many years and if there was a site near by, I'd still be flying.

Having read up on it now, I no longer suffer the anxiety but I'm trying to understand what causes this irrational thought process.

It's not suicidal either. Studies suggest about 50% of people suffer from it.

EDIT: The bush is my council. ;)

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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 16 Mar, 2019 2:32 pm

The call of the unknown, it has happened to me once or twice but not that I ever considered jumping or allowing myself to fall. It is the absolute opposite to being on a climb well above your grade and hanging on waiting to either go or fall off. I didn't know it was common tho. I have the exact opposite feeling on skis
Maybe we all want to fly?
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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby Orion » Sun 17 Mar, 2019 3:29 pm

I'm not surprised to hear it's a common thing. I experience it to some degree when I'm near cliffs. I've found heights uncomfortable most of my life but I don't get motion sickness. I skydived for a while, partly as a way to confront my fear of heights. I took up rock climbing. I've rope soloed El Capitan. But I still get these feelings. Ski lifts are the worst for me, especially the really high ones above the tall pine trees. I have a hard time with those.

Not sure what it means. It just is.
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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby crollsurf » Mon 18 Mar, 2019 6:29 pm

Fortunately never experienced it on a chairlift but that would probably be the worst scenario. At least with a cliff, you can walk away from the edge. A chairlift, you're stuck there until you reach the top.

Still worth it on a good Powder day though ;)



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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 18 Mar, 2019 7:34 pm

I was doing the “Capes” part of the Great South West Walk when I met up with another hiker. When he found that the next couple of days were along the cliff tops he bailed out.
Never understood it until now...
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Re: L’Appel du Vide

Postby Orion » Tue 19 Mar, 2019 10:53 am

ChrisJHC wrote:I was doing the “Capes” part of the Great South West Walk when I met up with another hiker. When he found that the next couple of days were along the cliff tops he bailed out.
Never understood it until now...


That was the last place where I had that feeling. I walked the "two capes" self guided option recently (thanks tas parks for the new camping area) and found myself feeling a bit weird scrambling out to the edge in a few spots. I'd have been fine with a harness and rope but on my own... it's just weird. It's like I don't fully trust myself. Would I really jump? No, of course not. But there's this feeling, a kind of an urge. It's like, "Just get it over and JUMP!". I've had the same feeling sometimes when driving. It would be so easy to turn the wheel and crash the car. I don't do it, but I think it. It seems completely irrational. What does it mean? Is it just mental exploration of a possibility? An odd form of worry? I'm not sure.
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