Why Are You Afraid Of Death? 7 Keys To Overcome Thanatophobia

The fear of death is common. What happens when we can’t stop thinking about it? Thanatophobia or the fear of dying is a problem in our daily lives. Find out how to deal with it.

How to overcome the phobia of death or thanatophobia?

He fear of death, also known as thanatophobia, is something natural in most human beings, since it is an inevitable fact that will come to all of us sooner or later. The unknown, darkness, suffering and life after death are aspects that have all crossed our minds at some point.

It is also common to think more about death when you suffer from an illness or are exposed to life-threatening danger. Now, when these circumstances do not exist but that fear occupies a large part of our daily life or affects our emotional stability, we could be talking about a phobia of death. So how can we stop being afraid of death ?

What is tanotophobia or fear of death?

The thanatophobia, better known as the fear of dying it is a phobia that implies that people suffer from a very intense fear of dying or the suffering that they may suffer during the last moments in life.

This obsession with death due to fear of dying It can end up being a great difficulty for those who experience it. In fact, many people are afraid of dying because of the pain process and others because of what ‘nothingness’ or ‘ignorance’ of what lies behind this end implies. When these thoughts about death are very frequent, worries can become more problematic fears for those who suffer from it.

‘I’m afraid of death’ When is it a psychological problem?

The majority of people who suffer from thanatophobia or fear of death, they also suffer from hypochondria, they worry excessively about their health, well, rather about losing it, and they constantly check whether they are well or not. Either they don’t go to the doctor or they have constant check-ups that, far from relaxing their anxiety (it does do so temporarily), the fear of suffering from a serious illness increases.

However the affraid to die It has no ritual. We cannot avoid dying and people who worry about this fact think about it a lot, continually think about what that moment will be like and feel an atrocious fear of suffering it. This fear is partly founded, since we do not usually talk about death, we avoid the topic, even when we are small they avoid us seeing deceased relatives or even commenting that our grandfather, for example, has died.

When we speak or are thinking about death most of us disguise reality with metaphors like: “grandpa is in heaven”, either “Grandpa is gone forever”. Parents become tense when having to explain what death is to their children and this topic is given a dark and terrifying component.

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On the other hand, there are cultures in which the death theme From a young age, people become aware of the inevitable and become part of the death rituals. This makes death considered another part of life and therefore accepted with courage.

In this way, when the fear of death or thanatophobia occupies a significant part of our lives and even interferes with our daily lives, we can say that there is a fear of dying that makes us unable to lead a normal life.

Symptoms of thanatophobia

Fear of death due to anxiety

Although the American Psychiatric Association does not officially recognize thanatophobia as a disorder, there are many cases in which the fear of dying is often related to generalized anxiety disorder.

Fear of death and anxiety can be closely related, but thanatophobia can be involved in other psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress, panic disorders and hypochondria.

Symptoms of death phobia

When a person suffers too much fear of dying In many cases this can cause both physical and psychological symptoms. Mainly we can identify the following signs that we are facing thanatophobia.

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures: One of the first symptoms due to the fear of thinking about death is precisely sensitivity to temperatures. This is usually related to the anguish caused by the death phobia
  • Feeling choked: The fear of dying can cause anguish and panic attacks, causing people to feel suffocated when thinking about death in this way. Furthermore, those individuals who suffer from it may come to believe that these are symptoms of death making them more afraid of dying.
  • Find ways to stay young or immortal: Most of the people who they are afraid to die or suffer from thanatophobia tend to deny their mortality, thus looking for different ways to both stay young and become immortal.
  • Inability to distinguish reality from fantasy: Another of the most common problems of thanatophobia or fear of the passage of time and death It is precisely the inability to distinguish what is real from what is unreal. In this way, the fear of death is preceded by a clear fantasy about the unattainable (not only in topics about death but also in other areas).
  • Obsessive thoughts of death: When you fear death In many cases you think about it. People who have thanatophobia think excessively and obsessively about this topic. So much so that this can affect your lifestyle.
  • Anxiety: When thinking about death or death phobia becomes excessive, people often trigger an anxiety problem. Even in certain cases they can develop irrational fears related to other topics.

He fear of dying or thanatophobia It can affect a person’s life in many ways. If you think you suffer from many of these symptoms of fear of death, you need to do something about it. With work and the help of a professional psychologist you can overcome the fear of death.

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Causes of fear of death

Fear of death in children

The thoughts about death in children They can be a healthy part of normal child development. If your children are experiencing this phobia of death, it is important to provide them with the support they need to deal with this feeling since children lack the defense mechanisms or understanding necessary to be able to cope with this situation. Normally, thanatophobia in children usually disappears after six months. When the fear of dying exceeds this period, it is important to go to a professional psychologist due to the impact that this phobia of death can have on your life.

Why am I afraid of dying?

There are a series of causes that make people more prone to suffer from fear of death or thanatophobia Mainly, the following reasons are identified.

  • Age: Although it seems illogical, the reality is that it is young people who suffer the most fear of death and anxiety related to it. So much so that studies show that people under 20 years old are more likely to develop a fear of death. Contrary to what it may seem, the older you get, the more you end up losing fear of death
  • Trauma: People who have experienced a traumatic event in their life can suffer as much fear of life as the fear of dying Therefore, thinking about death is associated with the trauma they suffered in the past.
  • Parents near death: When a relative and especially one of the parents is about to die, children are usually more likely to develop a death phobia or thanatophobia. In these cases it is normal think about death but it can be a problem if done in excess.
  • Health problems: There are cases in which the person has a obsession with death due to his health problems. In this way, those who suffer from it end up aggravating the symptoms of their illness due to the anguish and the meaning it has on our mind and body.

These may be some of the causes of fear of dying Despite this, there are other reasons why these negative thoughts can develop around this pathological fear.

How to face the fear of death?

How not to be afraid of death? Thanatophobia and its treatment

When the affraid to die becomes an obsession with death that prevents the normal course of our daily lives, it is important to go to therapy with a professional psychologist. The most common treatment for thanatophobia may involve techniques from cognitive-behavioral or psychoanalytic therapies.

Furthermore, in some cases where these thoughts about death create a lot of anxiety, psychologists can recommend visiting a psychiatrist to use medications such as benzodiazapines, used to combat anxiety.

How to overcome the fear of death?

There are a series of methods that we can follow to be able to overcome our fear of death According to psychological therapies, we can overcome the fear of death through these steps.

  1. Accept the inevitable: Death will come, it is a fact. You can spend every day of your life living in fear of life or you can focus on living your life the way you want. The death It escapes our control but life does not. Do everything you can to feel proud of the life you have managed to lead. You choose what life you want to live. The best way to not be afraid of anything is to work on ourselves and within ourselves.
  2. Speak naturally about death: Don’t continue creating taboo around death. The fears and their meaning In our lives, when they are spoken and shown, they tend to be reduced. Talk to friends and family about the losses you have had, the fears, and the uncertainty of death. Of course, don’t let this topic take up a large part of your daily life. We had said that the first aspect to work on is to focus on living, and wouldn’t you want what is remembered about your life to be that you were constantly talking about death?
  3. Tolerate uncertainty: We don’t know what will happen, what it will be like or if we will suffer or not. While it is true that there are multiple testimonies from people who have been on the verge of death that explain that at that moment they feel peace and tranquility, we will not know what is really happening until it happens to us. Therefore, let’s not get ahead of events. We don’t know what will happen in the future but we can focus on controlling our present. You cannot live in fear of death, therefore, we must accept that it will happen at one time or another in order to enjoy all aspects of our life.
  4. Explore spirituality and philosophy: Sometimes the best way to overcome fear of death or even losing the fear of death is precisely by investigating and trying to find answers to our concerns. Philosophy and spirituality can be two sources of knowledge around the topic of thinking about death.
  5. Make death a part of your life: The ultimate goal of think about death It is precisely trying to accept it as part of one’s life. In these cases, instead of seeing death as something negative, we can enhance the vision that it is precisely necessary to be able to live.
  6. Focus on your well-being: In order to leave behind the affraid to die It is essential to work on ourselves. Our interior is vital to face each of the scenarios that life presents us. In this way, we can stop thinking about death to explore ourselves and get to know ourselves much better. This will make us have a strong attitude towards both life and death.
  7. Seek professional help: If on your own you cannot reduce the time that this concern is present or you cannot be at peace, do not hesitate to seek help from a therapist.
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In many cases the death phobia or thinking about death too much can make people end up leaving their lives. When death monopolizes our thoughts, this is a way of stopping living our lives. In order to face death, we must know how to overcome the obstacles that life gives us.