How do you stop someone who's willing to die for his beliefs?

In answer to Quora question: "How do you stop someone who's willing to die for his beliefs?"

Thank you for the A2A.

I think you need to understand what energizes the belief. For example is it:

- Acute depression?
- Existential desperation?
- Abject humiliation that triggers a frantic desire for revenge?
- Moral immaturity where an adult may be trapped in a 3-year-old's moral reasoning?
- A strong desire to conform or belong to a group that provides protection, acceptance, and approval?
- Fear of being ostracized, rejected or persecuted by one's family, community or tribe?
- An eagerness to embrace a sense of purpose, without which life seems empty and futile?
- A passionate devotion to a cause that seems singularly important or just?
- A desire to martyr oneself to prove one's purity and conviction?
- A substantial bribe - for example, benefit to one's family as a result of the suicide?
- Mental illness - delusion, psychosis, etc.?
- Severe drug abuse?
- Cultural conditioning?
- Profound ignorance of any other method to achieve the same ends?
- Severe physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse at a young age?
- Some combination of the above...?

Once you are able to understand the drivers of the behavior, it will be possible to enter into a dialogue about them - if the person is open and willing. There is a method called Motivational Interviewing which helps people compare their own fundamental values to their patterns of thought, emotion and behavior, with the aim of better aligning all of these. But this requires willingness to engage and, in severe situations like the one you describe, willingness to heal and learn, and to separate oneself from the environments and relationships that reinforce a suicidal conclusion.

My 2 cents.


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