Many people (or rather to say - the majority) are afraid of death. Some are afraid to die, and others are afraid of the act of death and any mention of it. But if this fear becomes so addictive that begins to affect the daily life of man, we can already talk about a full-blown phobia.
The fear of death is so common that it stimulated the emergence of numerous research projects and has intrigued everyone - from scientists to religious theorists worldwide. In the study of the fear of death it was revealed some interesting facts. For example, women in general are more afraid of death than men (perhaps because women are more likely to recognize and discuss their fears).
There is some controversy in the study of the theme of fear of death among young people and among the elderly. While many researchers argue that the young are most afraid of death than older, others argue that the fear of death is not really decreased over the years. Interestingly, several studies showed that terminally ill patients have a fear of the imminent demise is greatly reduced after they are placed in hospice care. Perhaps this is because they receive from the staff of the hospice emotional and spiritual support.
So what is this still is - the fear of death that makes all the experience quite unpleasant moments of emotional and psychological discomfort? What form it takes and why there?
What is the fear of death?
It is not enough to say - "this man is afraid of death." Everyone is different and everyone has that fear takes their individual shapes. What may also be afraid of people thinking about death? Exactly what may scare them?
Fear of pain, suffering and loss of dignity
Some people with the obvious fear of death is actually not afraid of his death, and the circumstances that often surround the act of death. They fear a debilitating illness, excruciating pain and suffering, as well as the associated loss of self-esteem. This type of fear is more common in cancer patients, but it is not uncommon in healthy people. Many people with this type of fear and suffer from nozofobii (fear of contracting) - also called hypochondria - or from other somatoform disorders.
Fear of the unknown
Of course, no one knows exactly what death is, as it happens and is there anything then. No one came back from death to tell us about it. And human nature inherent desire to understand and comprehend the world around us, because it is part of the commitment of our existence. That is why the fear of the unknown and it is incredibly powerful. But death can never be realized as long as we are still alive. Dying is surrounded by many unknown variables. What will I feel when I die? What will be waiting for me when I pass beyond the veil of death? Will there be some kind of life, and whether it will be as chaotic and filled with pain, like this life? These questions are asked by almost everyone. Since we had never died, we do not know what to expect.
Fear of nothingness or eternal punishment
Many people are afraid that they completely cease to exist after death; it seems particularly unfair and absurd. And this fear hurts not only atheists. Many of the faithful, too, worry that their belief in the afterlife may eventually prove to be misleading.
The fear of eternal punishment, again, is typical not only for believers. Although believers tormented by the fear, of course, more. They fear that they could be punished for what they have done - or not done - here at the time of his life. Religious beliefs are forcing many people to think that they know what will happen after death, but they fear they may be wrong. Some believe that the way to salvation is too straightforward and narrow, and they fear that any deviation from this path and any mistake can lead to their suffering after death.
Fear of losing control
As knowledge control - this is something that people tend to always. Death is the same - this is what is outside of our control and it is very scared many of us. Some still try to maintain control of the situation and push your death as far as possible. They begin to adhere to strict (sometimes extremely!) Steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Long retaining control over their health can lead to nozofobii, which we have already mentioned (this fear of contracting).
Fear of the problems associated with the family
Thoughts about what will happen to loved ones who depend on their care and guardianship, if they die, torture, for example, young mothers and fathers, children or adults who are caring for elderly parents, and fathers of families. They may fear that their family will suffer financially, or that there will be no one who could take care of their loved ones.
Fear of mental suffering after the loss of irreplaceable
Those who lost his parents, spouse or child, very afraid of a repetition of such suffering. Experiences sometimes so strong that the person seems as if the universe itself collapsed, and their own life no longer makes sense. Of course, this suffering can lead to depression and even suicidal; and those persons who are not prone to depression, this can cause increased anxiety for the family and the fear of death. Sometimes the thought that we can be separated from those we love, can lead to this fear.
Another reason that many people consider the terrible death - is the fact that we have to go through it alone
Even if you will be surrounded by hundreds of people, you will have to go through the death of their own. This perspective is very unnerving to many people.
Fear of dying long
Many accept death itself, but the fear that the process of dying will be long and painful and humiliating it, does not allow them to live in peace. Another problem - too often there are situations when people die in isolation from those whom they love and who values them. For example, in intensive care units, where the relatives are not allowed. The scientists who conducted the study fear of death, convinced that the reunification of the last days of his life with relatives is an important priority for the dying.
Some reasons that may cause fear of death
The reasons, of course, there may be many, and each has its own, it can be. But there are also factors that are more likely able to cause fear of death. We'll talk about some of them.
The transition from one phase to another life
There are certain stages in human development when the great risk of his fear of death. Typically this occurs in the so-called transition age periods. Most likely the fear of death:
At the age of four to six years;
At the age of ten or twelve years;
At the age of seventeen to twenty-four years;
At the age of thirty-five to fifty-five years.
Ironically, experts say that the older you are over fifty five and sixty years, people have, the less they are exposed to fear death. Seniors have the lowest level of fear of death.
It is believed that the fear of death in these age groups is actually mourning the loss of the previous stage of development. "I do not want to grow up and change" - as it says our consciousness. In other words, we experience fear of the unknown that awaits us in the next phase of life.
Adolescents and young people often perceive death as something romantic, bright, exciting, but at the same time, unknown and scary. And the aggressive and risky behavior is a response to their own fears, and sometimes it is not clear what they subconsciously fear most - death or full of mystery and suspense adulthood, the way in which they have already begun.
Children four to six years, developing self-awareness, and the child becomes aware of concepts such as time and for loss
. Perhaps the fear of death, which may occur in a child has a chance to be a complete surprise for parents
. Indeed, in general, we expect from children and carefree joie de vivre, and virtually any phobia is not linked in our minds with a small child
. But in fact, this fear can be very healthy part of normal development
. Children usually do not have the protective mechanisms - such as, for example, an understanding of death and religious beliefs - which help adults cope
. In addition, children do not fully understand what "time", and it is difficult to understand that some people sometimes leave and then come back, and some are gone forever
. This may lead children to the confusing and sometimes frightening for them to notions of what it means to be "dead"
. But the fear of the child to qualify as a phobia can only depending on the severity and duration of the time - as a rule, it is more than six months
People, which are characterized by a high level of anxiety, often tormented severe pain of death. For example, people who have suffered severe psychological trauma, are often concerned; they do not want to re-experience the suffering. As a result, their excitement growing up in fear of death.
Even if all goes well in their own lives and the lives of their friends and relatives, they will still worry about what may happen is something that will completely destroy their home and family. After all, they've already been like when everything in their lives was well, they feel completely safe and have been surrounded by love, and at one point their happiness has been destroyed. Now they will always feel that welfare is very fragile and they will be afraid of new misfortunes, the most striking of which is the embodiment of death.
The crisis of faith
It is an important cause of the fear of death. Many people have a deep need to believe in God or religious myths, which allows them to explain the meaning of life. And even the atheists have to "stock up" a whole set of beliefs and values that help him find the meaning of existence and their place in the universe.
When our beliefs and values seriously contested and we begin to doubt that we know that it may be true that the process of the collapse of the opinion can be regarded as the path that leads to the fear of death. In the words of George Bernard Shaw: "Those who either do not believe in anything, afraid of everything."
Loss of health, prestige or source of income
It is most strongly affects men between the ages of forty to sixty years. And the women in this age begin acutely aware that very different from those twenty - there is no longer the flexibility, agility and endurance. In our time, a high probability of sudden job loss. And if the young do not lose heart and go on a search for a new job, then people are more mature age are beginning to panic - because they are much harder to get a job.
And with age, increasing the number of diseases, health gets worse. We are keen regret about leaving youth and begin to think about approaching old age: what will we? All these thoughts together into a fear of death.
Fear turns into phobia
Fear of death is not always evil, no matter how it seemed odd. It can be healthy. When we are afraid to die, we become more careful and take appropriate measures to maintain its security. For example, wear a seat belt in the car or wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle. A healthy fear of nothingness also reminds us that we need to efficiently spend their time here on this earth. It can push us to work hard to leave behind a lasting legacy and to take care of those we love.
But the fear of death can be so strong that it will start to paralyze the person and do not give him a normal life. He will take up all thoughts of the accident and will influence its decisions. This is an unhealthy fear, which is called thanatophobia, and in this case it is necessary to talk about the need for recourse to qualified personnel.
This phobia can produce and other "related" obsessive fears - for example, Necrophobia, or the fear of everything that is connected with the dead, and the burial process. The person begins to avoid the kinds of tombstones, funeral processions, funeral services - all that is for him a symbol of death and can serve as a reminder of the main phobia.
Thanatophobia - is, in fact, is the "fear of death": "Thanatos", ie, "death", and "phobia", that is "fear." This is a relatively complex phobia, which is divided into sub-groups: the fear of pain, fear of loss, and so on. Thanatophobia can be quite severe, interfering lead a normal life and a psychological condition requires special care.
Because there are many causes of thanatophobia and potential complications, it is important that diagnosis was carried out by a qualified technician. He will ask leading questions, and help the patient understand what is happening to him. It is also able to recognize the symptoms of disorders and, if necessary, prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.
As is usually treated thanatophobia?
The course of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the personal objectives pursued by the patient. What is he trying to achieve? Does he want to solve some internal conflict? Or is he just trying to get rid of heavy thoughts and wants to be able, for example, calmly react to the death of the heroes of the movie scenes or without panic pass funeral processions? The physician should be aware of the expectations of his client before it will develop a treatment plan.
Depending on the circumstances, treatment may be advisable to start with cognitive-behavioral therapy. In conjunction with it may be used and other methods of treatment.
How to cope with thanatophobia
Handle or no medical care at any phobia - a very personal decision of each person affected by a particular obsessive fear. No matter what decision you make - to ask for help or try to conquer their fears on their own - to cope with the fear of death can only be subject to constant, daily struggle with him and herself.
Unlike many other phobias, the fear when the impulses are triggered when a specific trigger factors (eg, in the form of a spider in some there is an attack arachnophobia) thanatophobia can constantly haunt your mind. Many complain that the fear is worse at night when they are left alone in the dark and are unable to escape from thoughts of panic some cases, as it happens during the day.
How can you cope with your fears? If you want to get rid of the fear of death, try the following:
Recognize your fears
Highlight some time and call up the courage to plunge into the dark corners of his soul. Write a list of your most frightening thoughts and fears. It is unpleasant, but it must be done. You can not even read your list and then, it can break off and throw it away, but it needs to write only obyazatelno.Kak we denote our fears, we can begin to work with them. Analyze your feelings. The next time you feel anxious or panic, consider that the reason for these unpleasant feelings. It may be that such deep feelings were caused by very small events. Typically, often exactly what happens.
Stay alone with itself
You must realize that your fears do not take place overnight. In the first step, even when you're trying to understand them, you can sort of psychological happen "buffeting". Our consciousness usually fights with us when we are close to overcoming such problems. To cope with this, try to spend some time alone.
Peace of mind is only possible when you have the opportunity to be satisfied with something, anything without being distracted. Spend fifteen to twenty minutes in a quiet environment. You can stay in the nature, to admire the running water in a river or a beautiful sunset. Listen to the birds singing, or the rustle of leaves. When we can be alone with your thoughts, it is easier to set them up in a positive way.
This is a simple practice, and although it is crucial to overcoming fears, but it is also important because it helps you to relax and at the same time to control your thoughts.