How to overcome the Fear of Death?

What is Fear of Death?

Living in this complicated world where the value of materialistic things is more than the value of true feelings is becoming a challenge. With the changing of times, more and more people are becoming victims of new types of physical and psychological diseases. The sad fact is that the people who suffer from any psychological disease are generally reluctant to the idea of acknowledging that they have a problem. The solution to this problem can be love and care so that a person who is suffering from any psychological disease may feel that he can talk about anything.

Though there are various types of psychological diseases that are gripping people, we are focused on discussing the most common fear among people, i.e. the fear of death.

Fear of death can simply be divided into two categories. The first category covers the actual act of dying. People who suffer from it often perceive it to be a painful and hideous experience and thus they fear it. On the other hand, some people fear being dead and hence they think a lot about what would happen if they die. In most cases, this fear does not impact the day to day lives of the people. But when it starts interrupting your own life’s schedule or the schedule of someone you know, it can be a cause of worry.

What is fear of death called technically?

The technical term used to explain the fear of death is Thanatophobia. It’s taken from the Greek word “Thanatos” which means death and “Phobos” simply means fear. When it’s at its peak it can stop you from leading a normal life as you won’t be able to do anything but think of and fear your own death.

Candle as an art representation of Death (thanatophobia)
Credits: webandi on

How to recognize you are suffering from it?

Though the people who suffer from Thanatophobia admit that they always think of death in the back of their mind, there are still some situations that can help you recognize whether you suffer from it or not. Have a look and be your own judge: You are suffering from Thanatophobia if:

  • Getting panic attacks by thinking of death too often
  • Feeling a lot of anxiety in a bit dangerous situations like when you forgot to switch off the gas for a minute or two
  • Avoiding simple things like driving at night due to fear of dying in an accident
  • Keeping visiting your doctor and have full body checkups more often than recommended
  • Spending a lot of money on keeping yourself young like undergoing intense plastic surgeries
  • Thinking of new methods by which you can die anytime
  • Keep thinking of what will happen to your family or friends if you die tomorrow (Thinking about it once in a few months is fine but if you think of it every day, it’s a clear danger sign)

How to overcome the fear of death?

To overcome the fear of death, you have to:

  • Accept it: Your first step towards curing Thanatophobia should be to accept that you have this problem. Then you should be willing to spend some time and energy on a regular basis to fight it off. Carving out half an hour every day would be more than enough.
  • Distract yourself: Another method of dealing with Thanatophobia is to distract yourself. Whenever you start thinking about death too much, just sidetrack your mind by doing any other task. Read a novel, listen to music, watch a happy movie or even wash laundry. Do anything that’s liked by you and would immediately catch your attention.
  • Pen Down your feelings and forget them: A good option can be to pen down your feelings regarding the death in a diary or journal and forget about it. When you pen down every possible scenario related to death, you won’t feel the need to think about it at least for some time.
  • Read about your condition: You should also try to read up about Thanatophobia so that you can recognize the symptoms at an early stage and seek solutions for it. You can read about it over the internet or in the medical journals or books published by experienced medical professionals or psychologists who have helped people like you.
  • Talk to people with similar conditions: If you have been thinking that you are the only person dealing with Thanatophobia then you are not altogether correct. There are several people dealing with it and most people do not like to discuss it in front of their loved ones. If you also don’t want your loved ones to know about it then you can join internet groups where such experiences and their cures are shared so that you can learn from other people’s experiences.
  • Seek religious assistance: You can talk to your priest about your problem and seek the help of God in removing your fear.
  • Consult with a psychologist: If you are an open-minded person then you can seek the help of a professional psychologist and work with him or her to get rid of Thanatophobia on a permanent basis.

A Real Story:

I know a person who also had Thanatophobia. Let’s name him John for this story. His fear was born when he was in the police force and had to fight off some maniac people who were terrorizing village people. Though he succeeded in saving the lives of more than 3 families, but he was hit with a bullet just an inch from his heart. He developed a Thanatophobia when he was in the hospital and was recovering from his physical injuries.

He, unlike many people, discussed his fear with his family and sought religious and psychological assistance. Though he has not completely gotten over Thanatophobia till now, his progress is good as he had rejoined the police force and still serves the country.

If he can do it, why can’t you? Just pack up the courage to speak about Thanatophobia with your loved ones and let them guide you towards the way to get over it.

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Sam Norton

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Julie Noyal

Thanks for the comment. Stay tuned for such informative articles.