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Fear of Parents' Death

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Old 01-04-2009, 06:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
4jco HB User
Fear of Parents' Death

I am a university student attending university about 4 hours away from my hometown. I am extremly close to my parents, closer than anyone I know.

Earlier in 08 an accident occured where 3 of my friends died, and I believe I have developed a case of OCD from it.

I constantly worry about my parents dying. They both are relativley healthy, however my dad is a smoker which worries me as both his father and uncle died of heart related issues when they were young.

I keep thinking of what life would be like if one of them died, and how I dont know how I would cope. No matter how hard I try to stop thoughts always rush through my mind. Sometimes I will just sit and cry thinking about it all night. This does not only happen when im away from them, sometimes when I am with one of my parents I just think of what happens if this is the last time I see them, or how much I would miss this when they are gone.

I worry all the time, and I just wish I could appreciate the time I have with them instead of constantly thinking about the inevidible.

Has anyone else experienced this or know tricks to deal with it?

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Old 01-04-2009, 08:22 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 58
cuts84 HB User
Re: Fear of Parents' Death

Yeah, I can relate. When I was younger I used to worry alot about my parents dying, usually in a car crash. Sometimes I still do worry about it. However, your situation is probably a little different because your fear seems to be caused by a specific situation, whereas mine was just a product of having OCD. The majority of OCD sufferers are likely born with it, but I think most psychologists still acknowledge that a specific traumatic experience can cause a person to develop OCD later in life. In fact, the old school of thought was that if a person had OCD, it was always caused by some type of negative experience that they had had and were possibly suppressing. Now, it is understood more as a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, it could be that certain people are more susceptible to OCD and it just takes one thing to happen to cause that OCD to manifest itself. Do you have any other OCD-like symptoms present in your life? If it really is OCD, the best way to treat this kind of fear is probably by doing some "exposure with response prevention" exercises. You can probably find some information on this by searching online. Also, have you told your parents about these fears you are having? It also might not be a bad idea to see a psychologist if this fear is or becomes too overwhelming for you.

Last edited by moderator2; 01-05-2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: disallowed use

Old 01-06-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
Captain OCD
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lawrence, KS
Posts: 3
Captain OCD HB User
Re: Fear of Parents' Death

Boy, OCD is pretty merciless isn't it? I'm sorry you're suffering so much. I definitely relate. My OCD onset in 2000, and in 2001 I went through a period where I worried obsessively about my parents' death.

I think recognizing that your thoughts are rooted in OCD is a good place for starting to deal with them. Therapy is always good as well, as they don't call it "the talking-cure" for nothing. It sounds like you've had very real tragedy in your life before, and fearing more seems reasonable all things considered.

Death is a fact, but you're right that you should absolutely be able to choose to enjoy the time you DO have with your parents. And there really is a choice there, odd as that may sound. OCD robs us of choice in strange way. By electrifying us with anxiety, it takes away joy. But if you can recognize your OCD thoughts for what they are you can let them exist instead of resisting them, and your response will lessen in intensity with time. Have you read any books on OCD? Have you been to therapy or been on meds? Just a few thoughts... Let me know. I'd be happy to dialog.

You are not alone, friend.

Captain OCD

Last edited by moderator2; 01-08-2009 at 05:48 PM. Reason: needless quote - please use "Quick Reply" instead of "Quote Reply"

Old 01-06-2009, 08:12 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 167
Post-It HB User
Re: Fear of Parents' Death

Hi there. I can very much relate to everyone's experience. Lately this has been worrying me as well. I also obsess about how I will cope, and wonder how I will ever survive if/when my parents pass away. It is hard, too, because my grandad just passed away and this is the first death I have had to deal with, so there are a lot of emotions going on in the first place.

I also have the "die in a car accident" obsession about my parents. I did not notice this before, but I realized the other day that I compulsively pray whenever I have a spike about my parents dying in a car accident, especially since they have been traveling a lot lately in order to deal with my granddad's death. I feel the urge to pray because I worry if I don't, then they will get in a car accident and die, and then it will haunt me that I didn't pray that ONE time. I'm sure you guys know what I mean.

However, I have sucessfully dealt with some obsessions in the past using exposure & response prevention, as well as acceptance-type therapy (which is also a big part of exposure & response therapy). Check out Claire Weekes, who wrote a phenomenal book on accepting the thoughts and feelings, and not reacting to them. There are some recordings from her also out on the web, and they have helped me tremendously. It was like someone was describing the OCD thought-feeling process perfectly, and using those techniques along with traditional ERP has really worked. I guess it's time to tackle this one, too, huh?

Good luck everyone!

Old 09-07-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: ON, Canada
Posts: 1
jrgc HB User
Re: Fear of Parents' Death


what you wrote is exactly how I feel. I unfortunaly don't have any advice for you, but I wanted to let you know that there is someone else out there that feels the same way. I know it makes me feel a bit better.

Old 11-07-2011, 10:37 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1
cuco HB User
Re: Fear of Parents' Death

HI,I know what you feel,I moved from my island 13 years ago,and when my grandfather died 9 years ago,I received a phone call and it was the most devastating thing that can ever happen to anybody leaving away from their hometown,now every time I think that the same thing can happen to my parents,that thank God they are still alive,I just start crying and I don't want to think about it.It is so painful,I adore them.

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