Re: Fear of death...
It is so strange that I found my exact phobia at the top of the "Phobia" page today. I was about 22 when I suddenly and completely realized mortality and in the span of about 30 seconds I was completely hysterical with fear.
I completely broke down after that. I had to leave school, I had to leave my job, I practically, had to leave my life because death was all that consumed my thinking. I had been pretty religious up to that point, as well, but after that night I realized that not only did “I” not know what happens after death, NO ONE knew.
I got to the point where I was completely suicidal. I didn’t want to kill myself, I just didn’t want to live. At the same time, I couldn’t end my life…because I was afraid of death. I have NEVER been closer to what a living hell was until that time. That really screwed me up, and continues to do so pretty frequently.
Anyway, one night, when my suicidal thoughts were particularly bad, I typed in “thanatophobia help”. I wasn’t sure that I would find anything because the fear of death isn’t like any other phobia. If you’re afraid of spiders, they, at least in theory, can expose you to a spider over and over again to help you conquer the fear. Thanatophobia isn’t like that. You can’t really be exposed to death but 1 time. < edited >
I can’t say that this will help you, I only know that it helped calm me a little after I read it. It didn’t fix my fear of it because I still don’t know what is “beyond”, but it touched something in my mind to know that I was not the only one dealing with this.
I also found that writing in my journal helps me get through the worst part of my Thanatophobia panic attacks. And not typing, actually writing with a pen or pencil. There’s something, at least to me, calming to me about the actual action of writing. It doesn’t have to be a planned subject; In fact, it’s probably better that you don’t have a subject in mind. Just write exactly what comes to the top of your mind, when it comes.
Talking to someone also, really saved my life. My counselor gave me the best advice for dealing with panic attacks. Don’t try to stop them when they come. The more you fight a panic attack, the worse it will be. You can’t control when they come or how hard they are, but the fear WILL come to an end and the attack WILL stop; You will not remain in a panic/phobia attack forever.
I know how precious a moment of peace is and I hope that something here gives you, at least, some room to breathe.
I was really afraid that I would only get worse as I got older, but I can tell you that there is another side and you will get there. The phobia is never gone, but now there is room in my thoughts for other things besides fear.
Last edited by hb-mod; 03-02-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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