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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: How can I get over my fear of death?

 aquarius129 - Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:58 am

I'm 27, and for about the past two years or so I have had an abnormal fear of death.

Whenever I have nothing to think about or do my mind starts to think about death, mine or someone else's. Little things always make me think of it. I'll get a pain and think it's cancer, or I wont talk to my parents for a day or two and I'll think something happened to them. Or even simpler, I can't watch television shows dealing with doctors or disease. Whenever I get sick, or anything I wont go to the doctor, in fear of what they might say.

I have this ability to block things out, but when something crosses my mind referring to death, even for a second, I feel so scared. Like the fear you get when someone jumps and frightens you, but it lasts more than that moment. Just reading the home page on this webpage, with all the forums for cancer and disease, made my chest feel heavy, and I had to catch my breath, then I just want to cry, my face gets hot and I have to think of something else to draw my mind away. Kind of like when I was a kid and always had to watch a cartoon after a horror movie. I feel uneasy just writing the word cancer. it almost makes my stomach sick.

I just want to live forever. But then I think, if I live a long life, everyone I love will die. So I want everyone to live. I just wish I didn't know what death was.

I've never had anyone really close to me die. I've never seen a dead person or anything. I have a lot of emotions. I can't kill an ant without feeling guilty.
I also don't believe in any after-life. I don't believe in God. So to me, life is pointless. That in the long run nothing anyone ever did will matter. That people are completely insignificant. And that death is inevitable. So I understand the idiocy of fearing it, but I just can't get over it.

I don't know. I can't really afford a psychiatrist, and no one has ever been able to help me. Is there anything I can do?
 carlotaD - Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:35 am

Hi Aquarius,

I have had the same fear for years. It's a little ironic because in my teenage years I had several suicide attempts and was a constant theme for me. Now, it's scares me almost to the point where if I think about it too much I can bring on an anxiety attack or worse. I don't know that I have any real helpful suggestions other than seeking a psychologist(not psychiatrist...therapy might be better in this situation beore turning to medication) which you already stated you can't afford. There are many free services provided for people in your situation, just look on your state government website or google it. And I'm not implicating that it's wrong or bad to feel the way you do...I feel it's normal to be afraid of death, especially without any religious beliefs(I'm agnostic, btw). It's knowing that you won't know what happens until it happens. Even if you are not religious, it might be helpful to talk to a few religious leaders of different faiths and compare their answers.
Maybe this hasn't been helpful for you but I just wanted you to know you're not alone in this; I feel this way too. I just joined this site and I don't know if there's any way to contact each other, but if you are able to and want to, I am open to discussion with you about it. Maybe sharing will relieve it.
Good luck and best wishes,

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