Death Phobia/Anxiety
By Tina Blacksmith

Death phobia.  Death anxiety.  Thanatophobia.  Whatever you wanna call it, it is VERY, VERY real.

I don’t know how it started or where it came from.  All I know is that it’s not something I’d wish on anyone.
There are simple phobias and complex phobias.  If I had to put mine in one of those categories, it would definitely be filed under “complex phobia”.  Simple phobias may become less severe over time, while complex phobias are said to be more disabling.

Death phobia – terror of an inevitable event

So what’s it like living with an extreme phobia of an inevitable event?  In a word: miserable.  Not only do you worry about your own death, you worry about those you love, too.  When they go to work or a party, you worry if they don’t call when they arrive.  You worry when they get home and forget to text you to let you know they’re okay.  For me this is the worst part.  The constant worrying, thinking, “Why isn’t this person answering?”, is enough to drive you crazy.  Every day those thoughts creep back in.  It’s the not knowing that I hate the most, because like so many things in life I have no control over it.

It’s an irrational phobia.  I can’t change the outcome but it still fucks with my mind…maybe because I know that mentally there’s nothing I can do to change that fact.

It causes your heart to race.  You get these “bad feeling” vibes and you want to call your friend or spouse to check on them.  You cry because the worry is too much to deal with.

It’s not like a fear of lettuce or cats.  Those things, you can stay away from.  You can’t escape death.  And that is the scariest part of it all.

Reproduced with permission, originally published here


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  1. Navjot Gill 18th September 2017 at 6:37 am -

    Phobia and anxiety. I constantly have negative thoughts. Going to do a food shop in the car, worry about getting my handbag stolen in the shop, having a car crash.
    Last week, having sprained my ankle, I considered doing the usual walk to work in my car. It was very windy and on the main road there are a lot of very old and big trees.
    In the space of possibily 30 seconds, the whole scenario had played out in my head.
    A tree would fall on my car, crush me and block the road. It’s rush hour, the area will become gridlocked, they would need to get an air ambulance for me. My son would still be in bed, oblivious to what has happened, minutes from our house!
    Constant torture! Yet, everything I do is littered with these type of thoughts. Everyday, every hour, a scenario of doom plays out in my head.
    I don’t want these unwanted thoughts, I want positive thoughts and no matter how hard I try to switch of immediately these enter my head, they always win!!
    How can I stop them?

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