How to cure your panic fear of dying?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
We live in a world based on the harmony of opposites.
Hot would be meaningless without cold, light would mean nothing without darkness, and life would have no taste without death.
These oppositions are equal and complement each other.
In the same vein, death is not the absence of life.
Of course, these two notions are antagonistic, but one does not cancel the other.
Dying is a stage in life.
While some phobias are known and trivialized, the fear of dying is an emotion that is not often talked about.
Basically, making sure to avoid dangerous situations is not pathological.
But first of all, we must understand that the fear of dying is something very present because it is an innate fear.
However, worrying and constantly feeling unsafe can become problematic.
And the fear of dying can turn into a real obsession.
Relax and read the rest of the article, we’ll break it all down.
Thanatophobia or the fear of dying
Are you afraid of dying?
If so, that’s okay and you’re not the only person, there are billions of us.
This fear is inherent in human beings, except that sometimes it becomes chronic: thanatophobia.
It is defined as anxiety caused by exposure to an object or a situation related to death.
This phobia manifests itself in two aspects.
Some live it and are aware of it, and others, on the other hand, do not prefer to think about it or even deny it.
In both cases it represents a danger for the affected individual.
How do you know that you are suffering from thanatophobia?
As a reminder, every human being has a certain fear of death.
It is not considered a symptom of thanatophobia.
People who suffer from this phobia experience severe attacks of stress and anxiety, as well as bouts of insomnia.
In addition, phobics are unable to go to bed at night because they fear they will never wake up.
This is not all, those affected show signs of depression and exhibit sudden fears and panics.
We also recognize a thanatophobe through his inability to go to a hospital, a cemetery and even a butcher’s shop.
He also has difficulty seeing corpses, either virtual or real.
Besides this, the phobic avoids anything that is likely to hasten death or cause danger.
He even avoids driving, in short he lives in confinement.
So said, the signs that should challenge you.
The causes of the fear of dying
There are no specific causes, but in the majority of cases, it is due to a traumatic experience.
This can be the loss of a loved one, the vision of a corpse, war and its corollary etc.
In addition, the fear of dying can be transmitted by a third person, usually a close relative.
How to end the fear of dying?
Let’s face it, the fear of dying will not make you immortal.
On the contrary, it is capable of rushing you towards the precipice.
Indeed, the depression that this phobia engenders can lead you to suicide.
No, you won’t get to this point if you practice the tips below.
Meditation is a very ancient practice, used to cure many ailments, whether physical or mental.
Meditation is listening to your whole being and controlling your impulses.
The reason why meditation works on anxiety and the fear of dying is because it helps to drive harmful thoughts out of your mind.
It is not a question of no longer thinking, but rather of developing another relationship to one’s mental activity.
Meditation invites you to accept yourself as you are.
In fact, it can help you release stress, chronic anxiety, and fear of death.
Being afraid of dying causes you to be withdrawn, suspicious, and depressed.
Meditation will allow you to “let go”.
Meditation will help you learn to live without solving everything, without mastering everything; to live with the uncomfortable aspects of your life.
Meditation is a way of entering into relationship with your emotions, your intentions, your thoughts and especially with all the situations of the life.
So, meditate to begin to accept yourself as you are.
This is how you will overcome your fear of dying.
Focus on what you can master
If death scares you so much, even if it means making you thanatophobic, it is because it confronts you with what you cannot conceive.
So, instead focus on what you can master.
You might, for example, be afraid of dying in a car accident.
You cannot control all the factors associated with a traffic accident, such as the misconduct of other road users.
Thinking about these factors will only make you anxious.
So it would be a good idea to focus on the factors that you can control.
Thus, you will respect the Highway Code, you will avoid drunk driving …
Indeed the risk of dying from an accident depends more on you than on others.
By controlling the factors related to yourself, you will better avoid death.
Additionally, being focused on the things you have mastered frees the mind, and dispels stress, panic, anxiety, and fear of death.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
This therapy is simple and very effective.
Your fear of dying is necessarily linked to certain thoughts that go in the same direction.
These increase your fear.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is guided by a psychologist.
It involves challenging your thoughts and identifying the emotions associated with them.
During the treatment, you will be asked to revise your thoughts to make them more realistic.
This therapy will therefore help you understand your phobia in order to better dispel it.
In summary, fear of dying can be cured, and the advice given above will be of great help to you.
Seek help from a psychologist for further guidance during the application of these methods if you feel the need.
However, these tips can also help you if you are worried about losing a loved one.