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Debilitating fear of death?

I have a debilitating fear of death, is there any way to get over it or to at least get some sleep at night without worrying constantly about dying? I'm so scared of it and of children dying and of everyone I love dying. I'm scared that nothing happens afterwards. I'm scared constantly. I can't actually name exactly what I'm scared of but it's constant How can I deal with this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:27 PM on Jan. 24, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (17)
  • Therapy and possibly medication. You could be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

    Answer by danielp at 4:32 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I have no idea what your religious views are, but if you are a Christian, you might want to make an appt with your pastor, or if you have a women's group, talk to a women you trust in the Church. If not, then maybe there is a counselor you could talk to that could help you make sense of your fears, and sort them out, to help you overcome them some. I really hope you are able to get some help, and be able to rest.

    Answer by cbk_mom3 at 4:32 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I went through this too, I especially worried about my children. A few things; allow yourself a few moments in the morning to worry over this and then tell your brain you're done for the day! When your thoughts go there again, stop yourself and say "I can worry again tomorrow morning about this. " Also, you can (and I'm spiritual, not religious) pray and ask the universe, God, whomever, to help take away these irrational and crippling fears. Do this for a month straight and see if you get better. Surround yourself with the white light of the holy spirit. You may be digging up past life stuff or who knows...good luck.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 4:33 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I suggest seeking out therapy ... counseling ..... someone who you can talk to and
    they can help you with ideas to control this fear...

    Good Luck

    Answer by gmasboy at 4:38 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • If you are literally losing sleep over this, I would question whether there is some sort of anxiety disorder componant to this. I have suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and being persistantly troubled by repetitive, intrusive anxieties was a major symptom for me.
    If you do think that you may have an anxiety issue above normal anxiety, talking to your doctor might be a place to start. There are medications out there that help anxiety. There are also non-medical things that can help, like meditation, relaxation techniques, or cognitive behavioural approaches.
    What helped me to deal with generalized anxiety was mindful awareness... I practiced meditation and made a practice of being aware of my thoughts, so that when I began to ruminate on something bad I could cut off my mental dialogue and say 'It does no good to worry- come back to the present.' Then I would focus on my breathing to come back to the present.

    Answer by Freela at 4:39 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • You need to make an appointment both with a physician and a therapist. Anxiety can stem from both physical and mental triggers...mine usually peaks right before my asthma returns. At one point I thought I was going insane...only to have my doctor tell me that was a sign of my asthma needing management.


    Answer by lovinangels at 4:51 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • Ok, I was going to say almost the same thing as Freela.

    If it doesn't go away, you may want to look into counseling and possibly medication if other methods don't work. Reflecting on Buddhist and Taoist principles, meditation, relaxation techniques, learning to let go (especially anything out of my control) has helped my anxiety tremendously. Being aware of your thoughts and focusing on the positive and trying to be mindful and in the moment each day can help. Recognizing what is healthy and what is not healthy is helpful as well. A crippling fear of death is pointless, frankly we all die, but fear of dying unprepared may be a valid fear and may be something you can do something about to some extent. Anyway, depending on your religious/spiritual background, you might try talking to someone (pastor, etc.) or a therapist if it doesn't get better soon. Good luck to you, and I hope you get some rest!

    Answer by pam19 at 4:56 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the solution for resistance to anything, and specifically death, is to lean into rather than leaning away.

    They recommend meditating on the whole process of death, from conception and birth, growth, robust health to the onset of disease to failing into frailty to actually ceasing to live, and then on to decomposition and the final reversion to being indistinguishable from the world.

    There is a lot to be afraid of, when you need a distraction from the real world, or choices you need to make about how to live, but the cure is to intentionally and continuously practicing thinking of what you choose, instead.

    Answer by LindaClement at 5:01 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I agree with he pp's, You need to seek counsel from either a therapist (secular or Christian..depending on your religious views..maybe both..if you're Christian) and maybe a psychiatrist or your physician for meds to help while in therapy. Also, for me, finding a church that lifts me up and takes away my fears helps tremendously. Your course of action will depend on what feels right for you. Whatever the course, I wish you all the luck and hope you find the relief you need :)
    "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29)

    Answer by kittieashy at 5:02 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • Since you posted in the religion section, I'll take that as permission to give you a religious answer.
    The Bible refers to death as the King of Terrors. It is true that 10 out of 10 people will die. 3 people die every second. The question isn't whether we will die, or even when, but will you go to Heaven or Hell?
    If you are unsure of this, and it seems you are, I can understand your fear.
    The Bible says that all lawbreakers will have their part in the lake of fire. This means that all liars, thieves, adulterers, idolaters and blasphemers will go to Hell once their breath stops. "All have sinned," and "there is none righteous. No, not one."
    However, God's word also says that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Also, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."

    Answer by MariAnKenobi at 6:08 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

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