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What Is The Phobia Of Dying

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What Are The Symptoms Of Thanatophobia

Facing Fear of Death: 4 Skills for Anxiety and Fear of Death and Dying

Individuals who experience thanatophobia may not notice their symptoms until they begin to think about their own death or the death of their loved ones.

Physical symptoms of thanatophobia can include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Avoidance of loved ones or responsibilities for long periods
  • Avoidance of having children you want in case you die during childbirth

Why Am I Afraid Of Death

Although it may sound relatively straightforward, fear of death is actually one of the most complex phobias because its often not the death itself that scares us, but certain aspects of it:;

  • The idea of a long, debilitating illness that causes pain and makes us lose our dignity;
  • The fear of leaving loved ones behind;
  • The fear of unknown or lack of control;

Most often, thanatophobia occurs after losing a loved one because loss reminds us of our own mortality. You can also develop death anxiety after having a near-death experience, such as being involved in an accident, or when seeing death on a regular basis .;;

But fear of death can also occur without an apparent reason. For example, it may be caused by an early traumatic event you dont remember. In Western culture in particular, conversations about death are perceived as taboo, and the more we avoid talking about this difficult topic, the more unsettling it becomes. Some say that young people fear death more than seniors, but that actually depends on cultural and religious factors, and the degree of emotional support received.;;

Im afraid of dying. Does that mean Im depressed?

Although death anxiety can be a symptom of certain depressive disorders, the fact that you worry about death occasionally doesnt necessarily mean you are depressed or that you have a mental health disorder.;;

Psychological Factors Associated With Fear Of Death

There is evidence in the literature that certain factors contribute to FOD appearance.

In patients who do not have the following, FOD seems to be common:

  • High self-esteem

  • A sense of fulfillment in life

  • Intimacy with family and friends

  • A fighting spirit.

Certain other factors contributing to FOD include anxiety, depressive symptoms, and beliefs about what will happen after death. Death anxiety does not naturally follow the diagnosis of cancer. Unresolved psychological and physical distress underlies this psychological state. There are also evidence from ounce psychological nursing that the first 100 days is the key in prevention of FOD.

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Why Cant I Stop Thinking About Death

Anyone can experience obsessive;thoughts about death or dying,;and unfortunately they can worsen when a triggering situation arises or can even appear suddenly. While there are many strategies you can try on your own, if you continue to experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts about death, it’s best to reach out to a mental health professional for help.

Fear Of Leaving Loved Ones Behind

How to overcome the afraid of dying?

Some people at the end of life wonder less about their own predicament and more about how their loved ones are coping and how they will handle the loss. They may wonder, What is going to happen to my family? How will they manage after Im gone?

Only those closest to the dying person can alleviate this fear. Be willing to frankly discuss with your loved one what will happen to everyone once they die, and do everything you can to reassure them that you will all be okay. If children or dependent adults are involved, help to formulate a detailed plan for their future care.

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Treating Thanatophobia Or Fear Of Death

One of the most effective therapies is the CBT or Cognitive Behavioural therapy. In this therapy for thanatophobia or fear of death the doctor tries to identify the reason of the fear which is causing the distress in the patient. Several ways are then suggested and made to practise so that the patient can calm down. The basic idea is to replace the fearful image in the mind with a soothing imagery.

Scenario : Worrying About Someones Death When Theyre Unlikely To Die

Have you ever worried about someones death so intensely that by the time they walked in the door and explained they were late due to traffic youâd worked yourself up into a panic? Ive done this myself many times. And the worry took a particular uptick in frequency in the first few months after having a baby. I worried that my husband would die in a car crash during his five-minute drive to the grocery store. Every time he went.

Its not âcrazyâ to be worried about your perfectly healthy partner or loved one.

Its not crazy to be worried about your perfectly healthy partner or loved one. We may be more prone to this type of worry if weâve experienced an unexpected loss in the past or weâre feeling particularly stressed or vulnerable. In my case, I was experiencing common postpartum anxiety fueled by major changes in my life, both hormonal and otherwise.

Another common reason for preoccupation with a loved ones unlikely death is generalized anxiety disorder . People with this anxiety disorder spend a lot of time worrying about bad things happening to the point where it interferes with their functioning, prevents them from enjoying life, and causes physical symptoms.

No matter the source of your worry, there are ways to reduce the hold it has on your life.

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What Is Thanatophobia Or ‘death Anxiety

Thanatophobia is commonly understood as anxiety surrounding the fear of death, or the fear of the dying process.

While it is common for us to worry about our own mortality or the mortality of our family and friends as they age, these worries can develop into more problematic patterns of thinking. If you are struggling to cope with this sense of worry or panic on your own, it is important to seek help.

If your worries stem from a recent diagnosis of ill health or the ill health of a loved one, speaking with a therapist or counsellor could help you to better understand your feelings and help you to overcome them.

It is worth noting that thanatophobia may not be officially recognised under certain psychiatric diagnosis criteria, with symptoms of the condition instead linked to generalised anxiety disorder.

You May Already Have Endured Things As Physically Hard As Or Worse Than Dying

5 Powerful Ways To Overcome The Fear Of Dying

Woody Allen famously quipped, Im not afraid of death; I just dont want to be there when it happens.

There are many rational things to worry about when we contemplate our own deathperhaps foremost among those is the concern about how our surviving loved ones will cope emotionally and materially without us. But many of our worst fears about death are less realistic and based more on how we imagine death to be. This article is about those unfounded fears.

In modern Western society, most people have little direct experience of death, and we dont like to talk about the subject. Our society is organized in such a way that the dead are quickly removed from us, and those traditions that do encourage viewing the dead do so only after careful cosmetic preparation by specialized morticians, often resulting in the dead looking more like an elegant wax model replica of the living person. Attendance of children at funerals and cemeteries is generally not encouraged, adding to the sense of dreaded unfamiliarity with death with which many of us grow up.

Fear of pain

Theres no reason to expect that the actual process of dying is any worse physically than what you or other still-living people have already previously experienced.

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Coronavirus: How To Cope With Death Anxiety

The more unlived your life, the greater your death anxiety.;The more you fail to experience your life fully, the more you will fear death. Irvin Yalom

Its probably not surprising that many people are experiencing death anxiety right now. The fear of losing a loved one, or of dying yourself, may be heightened because of the coronavirus pandemic and the daily toll of all the lives it has claimed.

We are living in unprecedented times. Death has become a part of our every day. This Covid-19 experience of being in lockdown and not being able to be with loved ones may start a process of pondering some big existential questions about the purpose of life. It may make us consider how we can reshape our part in creating our own meaning and how we commit to living our lives truly and fully.

Existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom writes on the subject of death anxiety in his book Staring at the Sun: Being at Peace with your Own Mortality: Overcoming the Dread of Death.

He says that the nature of human existence is a mortal wound that can help us live our best life, or can leave us feeling paralysed. He writes: Our existence is forever shadowed by the knowledge that we will grow, blossom, and inevitably, diminish and die. What we do with knowledge can determine how we live our lives. Fully. Or partially.

Thanatophobia Or Fear Of Death Caused By The Fear Of The Unknown

Thanatophobia or fear of death can also take control of the person who is afraid of the unknown. We all are aware of the things around us but the unknown parts of the world or the unknown part after life can create the fear in someone. Philosophical and religious beliefs may make you afraid of the unknown afterlife and the place you shall be sent to after death. To treat this cause, groups should be formed of similar individuals and then question the beliefs to get rid of the fear.

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Fear Of Loss Of Control

Like knowledge, control is something for which humans strive. Yet the act of dying is utterly outside anyone’s control. Those who fear the loss of control may attempt to hold death at bay through rigorous and sometimes extreme health checks and other rituals.

Over time, it is easy to see how people with this type of thanatophobia may be at risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder , illness anxiety disorder , and even delusional thinking.

Causes Of The Fear Of Death Phobia

What is Thanatophobia or Fear of Death

As is the case with several other kinds of fears and phobias, the fear of death also results from external events or internalization/predisposition of extreme concepts about death. As children, we learn that death is inevitable and non-predictable. But this knowledge can paralyze or overwhelm the person coping from Thanatophobia.

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Fear Of Losing Control

Some individuals who are dying are able to continue leading a relatively active and normal life until the very end. But those who are very ill typically must rely on family members and caregivers to help them with activities of daily living in their remaining months, weeks or days. Many patients are uncomfortable with the thought of depending on others for supervision and assistance, and this is normal.

To help dispel this fear, encourage your loved one to stick to their usual routine for as long as possible. A life-threatening or terminal diagnosis does not change who the person fundamentally is. When it becomes clear that they will need to accept care from others, arrange for them to meet with and get to know their caregivers in advance, especially if medical professionals are involved. Becoming familiar with nurses and aides before their full services are required can alleviate discomfort and fear.

Furthermore, if you havent already discussed end-of-life wishes with your loved one, time is of the essence. Most people execute a living will, do-not-resuscitate order , physician orders for life-sustaining treatment form, or other legal document to spell out the type of care they DO and DO NOT wish to receive. Discussing these matters and putting them into writing while your loved one is still competent to make decisions will help them feel more confident that their wishes will be respected even if they are unable to convey them.

Can Thanatophobia Be Treated

Thanatophobia is not an easy one to live with as it can lurk at the back of the mind during every waking moment and is often worse at night when the sufferer is not distracted by other things. But like any phobia, thanatophobia is treatable if you feel that you cannot cope with the effects of your fear of dying phobia any longer. Treatment of the phobia will vary between different individuals, but would normally include cognitive behavioural therapy, talking therapies, and possibly hypnosis.

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Fear That Life Has Been Meaningless

People who are leaving this world need to hear that they are valued, that their accomplishments had a positive impact on the world and that they wont be forgotten. Dont miss the chance to tell your loved one how much they mean to you and remind them of all the good they brought to your life. Reassure them that their life had purpose and meaning, and encourage others to do the same, either in person or through cards and letters. Also, take time to go through photo albums, share memories and absorb life lessons from your loved one.

A Word From Very Well

What dying patients taught this doctor about the fear of death | Fahad Saeed | TEDxRochester

The stress and fear one experiences in thanatophobia are very real. We all have to come to terms with the fact that we cannot live forever. Ultimately, thanatophobia is a fear of the unknown, but if you’re living with this phobia, there are ways to cope through therapy and support.

This article may not cover all the symptoms, treatment, and outcomes of thanatophobia. Be sure to reach out to a mental health professional if you have any concerns.

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Is It Normal To Be Afraid Of Death

Within certain limits, yes.;

Fear of death is entirely normal and, quite often, it is tied to a persons religious beliefs. For example, in many religions, the concept of life after death is tied to punishment, so many people fear that they will suffer the consequences of their mistakes.;;

According to one study, 20% of people are afraid or very afraid of dying, making thanatophobia one of the most common fears. To a certain degree, normal fear of death can be a good thing because it makes us more cautious, helps us cherish meaningful experiences, and evaluate the values that guide us.;;

Contemplating your own mortality and wondering what happens when you die is not abnormal, and if the thought of it makes you a bit uncomfortable, you shouldnt be worried. Death is not an easy topic. However, if death is constantly on your mind, and death anxiety is affecting your everyday life, to the point where you experience physical symptoms and feel overwhelmed by it, that could be a sign you need;

How To Know If This System Is For You

Uncover the seriousness of the issue for you by using our 2 minute Test Online for Phobia of Dying however its pretty obvious: If this phobia is having a significant negative impact on your life, its time to do something about it.

  • At the mere mention of Entombment, do you develop nausea?
  • Do you instantly get dry mouth and moist palms?
  • Does your heart begin to race?
  • Do your legs turn to rubber?

Those are just a few of the symptoms. Click here to learn more about the symptoms of phobia of dying.

We address the symptoms, but we uncover the source, to eliminate them both. Our goal is to have you get rid of the root cause of the fear.

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Fear Of Death From Anxiety Attacks

Your heart races. You feel sharp pains in your chest. The room appears to be spinning out of control. You don’t know what’s going on, but you know that something bad is happening. It feels like it may be a heart attack and you feel a sense of doom, as though the world is about to end.

You feel like you’re about to die. But you experience all of this without dying and after some time, the fear starts to fade away , and you’re left wondering whether something is wrong with your health.

What you may have had was a panic attack, and the fear of death is a symptom of the attack. Here the fear of death is caused by several factors:

Why You Shouldnt Be Scared Of Death

Thanatophobia Diagnosis and Treatment

Death is a certain aspect of life, and it cant be avoided. While we can try to take control of certain aspects of our lives, death is ultimately something that is outside of your control, and that in most cases, we dont know when, where, or how it will happen.

These thoughts can be uncomfortable to have, but by understanding that its inevitable and it will happen to every single person that you know at some point too, youll realize that youre not alone and hopefully, find reassurance that way.

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I Keep Thinking About Death Am I Depressed

Whilst death anxiety itself isnt a disorder, existential fears lie at the core of many anxiety and depressive disorders. This means that it is often linked to these kinds of mental health issues Generalised Anxiety Disorder in particular, which is characterised by frequent and uncontrollable worrying.;

Its important to be clear that just because youre thinking about death does not mean that you have a mental health issue. Fears around death become problematic when they arise daily and are very persistent . When this happens, its likely these thoughts and fears have started to interfere with your enjoyment of everyday life.

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