Healthzia – It’s natural for someone to feel death phobia. However, if the fear becomes excessive, then you may experience thanatophobia. The following is information about thanatophobia for you.
Thanatophobia is commonly referred to as the fear of death. More specifically, it could be fear of death or fear of the process of dying. Thanatophobia can be associated with a form of anxiety and fear of death or the process of dying.
Few feel death phobia is a natural thing, because no one knows about the future.
What is not natural is feeling very, very afraid of death to the point of stress and locking yourself in so as not to get hurt or get sick.
Someone’s feelings are death phobia or also called thanatophobia
It is normal to worry about your health. That way, you will learn to be able to take care of yourself better, either by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and being more careful in your activities so you don’t get injured.
Worrying about your own safety also helps you to calculate every step you need to take in life as well as to prepare yourself for the worst, for example when you face a natural disaster.
Even so, few people in this world can feel extreme fear of death or the process of death itself.
This unnatural fear is known as tanatophobia, aka the death phobia.
Thanatophobia is not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a psychological disorder. Even so, the stress and severe anxiety it may cause are often associated with generalized anxiety disorder.
Why is anyone so death phobia?
Phobia itself is a psychological disorder characterized by a sense of extreme fear and irrationality. Unlike common fears, phobias are usually related to one specific thing.
In addition, ordinary fear generally lasts only briefly and may subside as soon as the trigger disappears, different from phobias.
You may know and realize that your fear doesn’t make sense, but you still can’t control your feelings.
It is not known exactly what causes phobias. However, excessive fear of death can be triggered by several factors. For example, a traumatic past experience.
A person can have an extreme fear of death if they have experienced a life-threatening or near-death situation, such as a natural disaster, accident, or illness, either to themselves or their loved ones.
Thanatophobia can also be triggered by religious factors, aka religious. Almost all religious teachings must teach about life after death, such as life in heaven and hell.
Some people with thanatophobia experience excessive anxiety about life after death, not knowing what will happen then.
Young adults are more at risk of developing tanatophobia than older people. Excess anxiety about death usually begins to appear in the 20s.
In women, this extreme fear can continue into their 50s.
In addition, people who have many serious health problems are also more likely to experience excessive anxiety about their future life.
What are the signs of thanatophobia?
Thanatophobia occurs when the fear of death arises every time you think about death, even to the point of interfering with your daily life and activities.
You will think about the inevitable death, fear dealing with loss, and worry about leaving loved ones.
The signs of thanatophobia may not appear all the time and you only feel them when you start thinking about death, be it your own death or that of those closest to you.
Here are the most common signs of this phobia, namely:
- Heart beats fast or irregular
- Stomach ache
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Experiencing panic attacks
- Anxiety increases
- Feel dizzy
- Sweating and flushing
When thanatophobia appears or gets worse, you may also experience some emotional symptoms, such as anger, sadness, annoyance, and worry.
In extreme cases, this feeling can stop you from doing activities, feel isolated, and avoid contact with family or friends.
What are the causes of thanatophobia?
The emergence of phobias is often triggered by certain events in the past. Generally, triggers of thanatophobia are traumatic events that cause a person to be in a near death state or are associated with the death of a loved one.
Apart from the above factors, several factors can also increase your risk of developing this phobia, including:
1. Age factor
A 2017 study showed that older adults experienced a fear of death, while younger adults had more fear of death itself.
According to a 2012 study, women are more likely to fear the death of their loved ones and the consequences of their own death.
3. Health problems experienced
A person who is exposed to many physical health problems, especially those that are fairly severe, experiences greater fear and anxiety about both death and the future.
Thanatophobia has also been linked to various mental health conditions, such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you feel you have this phobia, you should consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for proper treatment.
How to deal with thanatophobia?
In overcoming thanatophobia, doctors will focus on relieving the sufferer’s fear and worry about death.
According to Betterhelp, here are some treatment options you can do:
1. With psychotherapy
Talking to the therapist about what you experienced or felt can make you feel better.
In psychotherapy, the therapist will also help you learn how to deal with the feelings when this phobia arises.
2. Cognitive behavioral therapy
This treatment focuses on creating practical solutions to existing problems.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy will change your thought patterns and calm your mind when you face talking about the death process or death itself.
This therapy allows you to form new behaviors and ways of thinking about it.
3. Using relaxation techniques
Meditation, imaging, and breathing techniques can help reduce the physical symptoms that arise when thanatophobia occurs.
Over time, relaxation techniques can also help you reduce that fear in general.
In addition, you should also avoid alcohol and caffeine, get enough sleep, and eat nutritious foods.
4. Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy helps you overcome your fears by encouraging you to face them.
A therapist will do exposure therapy by exposing the sufferer’s fear gradually until the anxiety response is reduced or even not feeling fear at all.
5. By using drugs
Your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to reduce anxiety and panic associated with phobias.
It is generally used for short periods of time when you are trying to deal with fear in therapy.
Don’t hesitate to talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist if your fear of death is overwhelming
Support from the people closest to you is also very necessary because it can help reduce the fear and anxiety that you experience.
Ask the people closest to you to accompany and comfort you. In addition, it is often recommended that you get closer to God in order to make your heart feel calm and peaceful.
Don’t forget to also adopt a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising half an hour every day, eating fresh fruit and green vegetables, and always having positive thoughts so that our lives can be calm.
That is the information we can convey about death phobia. Don’t hesitate to visit a psychiatrist or doctor to get better treatment.