We will all die at some point, and it can be one of the most depressing realities of life. That is why most people avoid talking about death. Since we rarely engage in conversations about it, you will frequently find yourself brushing away thoughts about the subject. Most people fear the end of life, especially since no one is certain about what happens when we go.
Although it has become somewhat a taboo subject, talking and thinking about death can be very useful. By thinking about it, you will be able to determine whether or not you are living life by your own values or those imposed by society. You can think about what matters most to you, as well as what you would want to do with your life.
While it can be useful to contemplate death, you should not constantly turn your thoughts to the day you will die. It can create high levels of anxiety and can generally be bad for your mental health. Certain things can make you constantly think about your own death, and we shall cover this subject in greater detail in this article.
So, What Are the Reasons for Being Scared of Death?
There are several reasons why you might be worried about it. Most people develop anxiety about it when they suffer the loss of a friend or family member. It is because such an event can remind you that your life will certainly come to an end at some point.
You are also likely to become anxious about your death if you come close to death yourself. For example, if you are involved in an accident or recover from a terminal illness, you will feel like life is quite fragile and can end at any time. Many people recover from such conditions and embrace life with new energy as they have a better understanding of the fragility of life. However, others become depressed and develop extreme anxiety about the condition.
It is the same reason doctors, firefighters, and other people in life-saving fields will frequently be anxious about their own death. They save people from death every day and may occasionally watch others lose their lives, and it can cause trauma.
As mentioned earlier, people do not find it normal to talk about death and will usually go to great lengths to avoid thoughts about the subject. Many people suffering from death anxiety will escape from the thoughts by taking drugs, watching TV shows, and even playing video games. The irony is that avoiding thoughts about death will usually make you a lot more anxious about the matter. It is because you will never resolve the issue in your mind and always feel like it is a major problem.
It is also possible to develop anxiety about death for no apparent reason. You can determine whether you have an unhealthy obsession with it by watching out for the symptoms. One sign that you have death anxiety is the fact that you will feel an intense dread whenever you talk about it or think about the subject.
Also, you should take note of how frequently the thoughts cross your mind. If you find yourself thinking about death every day, you will need to approach a therapist. You should also watch out for physical symptoms whenever you have thoughts about death. People with death anxiety usually exhibit increased heart rate, upset stomach, and a feeling of vomiting. You may also sweat when you think about the subject.
Another sign that you have an unhealthy obsession with death is difficulty with sleeping. If you have to take medication to go to sleep, you should see a therapist as it can have a major impact on your daily life. You may also feel scared every time you have symptoms of a disease. In this case, you will be googling the symptoms to find out what the issue is and will be anxious when a serious disease is suggested. Generally, you will be worried that you cannot control all the events in your life.
Do I Have Depression, or Is It Just Death Anxiety?
Worrying about death can make it hard for you to enjoy life, and that is why the disorder is normally associated with depression. However, you should note that just thinking about death is not a mental issue. You will have to monitor the level of worry you have and determine whether the problem is long-term. Usually, it becomes a mental issue if it lasts for about half a year. It is worth noting that those who suffer from depression experience a worry about death. They constantly contemplate the value of life but are worried about what lies beyond death.
Getting Over Death Anxiety
One thing you need to do to overcome your worry about death is to admit that you have a real psychological issue. This way, you will be able to take steps to solve the problem actively. A good way to get over the anxiety is to talk to a therapist. These professionals are trained to help you think about death in a more positive way and to accept it as a natural part of life. They will provide an environment where you can talk about your problem and get it out of your chest.
You should always remember that death is inevitable, and none of us can escape it. By practicing dialectical behavioral therapy, your doctor will help you accept the reality of death and maintain a positive attitude towards it.
It means you will not need to fight or avoid thoughts about dying. Also, your doctor will help you turn your thoughts towards life and all that you can enjoy in your period of existence. Instead of worrying about an event you can neither avoid nor control, you should appreciate the present and live life by your values. You can use death as a motivator to live your life to the maximum.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more