Due to specific religious and pre-conditioned reasons, all of us are scared of death. While it is normal for us humans to be afraid and worry about our health or badly experience the pain of losing our loved ones, in some people, this worry and fear can be way more intensified and worrisome.
What is fear of death or Thanatophobia?
The term “Thanatophobia” is a form of anxiety due to the fear of own death, the process of dying, or anything associated with it. A person experiencing this phobia may feel extreme anxiety when having realizations that death is inevitable. Some of the feelings include fear of leaving love ones alone, losing a loved one, and fear of separation.
The reason for facing this phobia can vary due to many factors. It can be due to an event in the past or any recent series of experiences. The emotions and intensity of this phobia can vary depending on factors such as age and sex. For example, studies show that adults fear death more than young people and that woman fear death more than men do.
There is a chance that this phobia stems from other specific phobias ( fear of spider, plane, snake, height) or from panic disorders (fear of not being in control). It can also be caused due to illness anxiety disorders.
What are the Symptoms of death anxiety?
Some key symptoms of thanatophobia include frequent panic attacks, intensified anxiety when thinking of death, avoidance of certain feelings and situations, feeling sick such as stomach pain and nausea when thinking about the dying process, heart palpitations, or general feelings of anxiety.
When it comes to recovering or the treatment of this anxiety, it is advisable to consult a professional for the same. For some people, support groups work because one may come in terms of death due to spiritual beliefs. In others who have good health and believe that they have lived fulfilling lives, the anxiety will overcome with time.
Some commonly used treatments for death anxiety include:
1. Talk Therapy or Psychotherapy
This process involves sharing your experiences, anxieties, and fears with a psychologist. They will help you determine the root causes of these fear and also help you better cope with your feelings through some strategies.
2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This kind of therapy focuses on coming up with practical solutions to solve the feelings of anxiety. The aim is to alter the human’s behavioural patterns and, in turn, change the way of thinking.
3. Relaxation Techniques
The first step to overcoming any form of anxiety includes practising some self-care such as a night of good sleep, eating healthy, and avoiding alcohol or too much caffeine.
Some specific relaxation techniques can help one feel calm at intense moments. These include doing deep breathing exercises, meditating, or concentrating on positive imagery.
Some doctors may prescribe medication to reduce fear and anxiety. It is usually for a small per of time till one is working on facing their fear in therapy.
It is always advisable to consult a professional if one is feeling very overwhelmed.
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