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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

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

 aquarius129 - Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:01 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?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:06 pm

Hello aquarius129,

Your situation is most likely the result of a combination of psychiatric symptoms that can be addressed with both medication and behavioral treatment by a psychologist. If you reside in the United States, there should be a mental health center in the nearest large city. Payment is made according to a sliding scale - the less you can afford, the less you pay. Sometimes that means treatment is free. I urge you to explore this approach. If that's not available, perhaps the psychologist would accept a payment plan. Please consider keeping a daily journal to take with you as you seek and receive treatment. Your fear of death is a phobia, and can be significantly lessened or eliminated by appropriate treatment.

Good luck to you.
Faye, RN, MSW
 sridarsh - Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:16 am

Am 21yrs old. and i have been having this problems with facing anyone in life. If there is any fight going around or some dangerous incident, i get scared. Even though am quite built and strong enough to face it or fight against the person, am too scared, Am feared to fight or defend. I get scared thinking about the consequences. This is one of the reason why am scared of having a girl friend. When i thinking of taking a girl on a date, i start thinking, what if some start teasing her, and i try to fight against him and i get beat up. In some cases if there is a fight going around me, i get scared to get involve and stop the fight. The problem is so severe that, there are few dogs down the lane of my house, am too scared to walk down there. I think what if they come and bite me. Sometimes when am going on my bike, even if i have all the documents and license, i get scared when i see a traffic police, i don't why, i get scared, My chest starts paining, my heart beat rate starts increasing. This happens everytime, even when i go to a movie, and i have bought a ticket for myself, i get scared, when the ticket collector asks for the ticket.
This is really becoming a problem for me. I havent really told about this problem to anyone. I don't know how to survive in this world. pls help me out.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:38 pm

Hello, sridarsh,

What a distressing situation for you! It appears that you definitely have an anxiety disorder of some type, with suggestion of a panic disorder. You would benefit from some professional assistance in trying to find the root of your fears, as well as having treatment for your symptoms. Start with your regular doctor. Make an appointment with him or her to discuss exactly what you have written here, and ask about a referral to a therapist. It's likely your doctor will give you medication to help you. Start keeping a record of your symptoms - what they consist of, when they occur, what you're doing at the time, how long they last, and any other aspects that you identify. Maintain it daily, and always take it with you for your doctor and/or therapist to review. This can help in determining any patterns, as well as helping the doctor decide on the most appropriate dosages of any medications and the best time of day for you to take them. I would also like to point out that it takes a wise and strong person to walk away from a situation rather than fighting. Walking away is not a sign of weakness.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck.

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