LovingLawliet

I'm terrified of Death and what happens after

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I can't take it anymore. I go absolutely hysterical whenever i just think about just not existing. Can you imagine having no thoughts, no soul, no personality, just being surrounded by a never ending blackness. You wouldn't even know it though because you'd be nothing, wouldn't you? And if there is something beyond death, if there is a heaven and a hell, then how do i know if i will be burning or be in peace? How do i know which religion is true? I was raised muslim and still am, but the sheikh just tells me to accept it, but oh God i don't want to die. I don't want any of my family to die. The fear just seeps into the deepest parts of me and takes over my entire being. Everyone says it'll be terrible to have immortality, but i will do anything for it for me and my family. I don't know whether to be more afraid of oblivion or burning in the deepest parts of hell. I can't sleep or do anything without being drugged into a lullaby with how much of these thoughts are running through my head. Through all of my being, i can say that i am suffering. I am Palestinian and have experienced the trauma of the war, but even with all of that, this issue to me is much worse. Everyone dies no matter what, but i can't accept that. I can't just accept the fact that it's normal. Please, what do i do to make this stop. How do i know what is true? Please help.

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Hi Loving Lawliet. Your Sheikh is right. You know, being surrounded as you are by death and destruction is it any wonder you suffer from anxiety. I have knowledge of your part of the world and what goes on and I sympathise, especially if you are a sensitive person. This fear seems to be another form of anxiety and it does often come up on this site. What does your religion say about death? There must be something in the Koran that is helpful. In the Christian Bible it is regarded as a transition between this life and another possible life. I am not religious in the accepted sense, but I do believe there is an intelligence at work that always works for good, death or not. What do you mean by death; how do you see it? The extinguishing of this little ego with all its false ideas? The death of the body only or do you feel there is more to mankind than that? So many questions and so few answers. You are here in the now; that is the only place you can be, yet you are looking so far ahead that you are making yourself ill in the process. But it is normal you know. In Buddhism they say "Coming to be ceasing to be" that is life for everything and everyone. People are born; people die. Now what I have written may not give you much comfort but you are asking an unanswerable question which is playing on your mind. Please try and do what your Sheikh says and accept life as it is. I don't know how old you are but you sound young. Can you take up some work where you help others, or perhaps you do? Whatever we feel about life it is certainly a teaching experience and we need to learn however painful. Thanks for your post and come back any time you wish.     Jon.

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Hi Loving Lawliet, I don't blame you for having fear of death considering that you are surrounded by it and war. It is not a great thing to experience in life and i have the deepest sympathy for you and your family going through these tough times. I truley hope it comes to an end with peace someday. I agree with jon, unfortunately I don't know much about the muslim faith but if you believe, I recomomend to look to your Koran, im sure there will be some sayings in there that will bring comfort to you. Also, try to keep busy, talk to someone about it or spend much time with your family and friends as much as possible. It seems to always helps the most in situations like these. I am terrified death as well, so you are not alone. The thought of not existing after living a long life just scares me.Whether there is life after death or oblivion, we will never know for certain, not even science can explain it. Death is and always will be a great mystery and one that will not be solved. The only thing we cn do is to live each day as if it was your last. thats why itoday is called a present. ^_^

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I am afraid as well. The one thing that always makes me feel better is asking myself the question - where was I in 1918? I wasn't born but I was OK, right? There is something comforting about wondering where I was before that makes me (sometimes) OK with knowing that I won't always be here. I was raised Christian and I try to live my life in such a way that if there is a heaven, that hopefully I make it up there. I do feel guilty for not being 100 percent certain. That's what faith is all about after all. I have always been frightened of death since I was little. I am 35 now and I still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes panicked with the thought of death. I used to work at a nursing home and I would talk to the patients about death sometimes. Not ONE person that I met was afraid to die. I think that perhaps as you get older and you've finished your business you will be more accepting of it? So scary to not fully understand or know for sure. 

Lori

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Hi lorih. Welcome to the AC Forum. My goodness, you do raise some interesting questions. Now why do you feel guilty about not being certain of your faith. Faith is a 'belief in things not seen'. How do you see that statement? Can you 'see' love or compassion? You know it's there but can you see it? No, you take it on faith that if someone loves you, really loves you, then you believe it. It is not tangible. Why do we have to see, touch, smell or hear something before we believe it? As a Christian have you really studied the words of Christ; in depth I mean? In any religion there is so much that can help us in anxiety because they all say that we are worthy of love and understanding. As an individual you have a right to be happy; to be free of anxiety and fear. The word 'individual' has the same root as 'indivisible'. Not divided. But we are aren't we? Divided within ourselves which is the cause of so much suffering. In any anxiety state there must be an inner conflict, and it is sometimes helpful to look for the reasons for that conflict.

What is death? Is it not ceasing to be; the discarding of all the worldly thoughts and feelings; all the troublesome emotions? To 'die daily' to all the emotions and fears may be better than worrying about what will happen after bodily death.

My personal view, for what its worth, is that your consciousness never dies. That is the essence of you not the rubbish we call 'I'. Everything you know and understand is of the past. It is stuff laid on you by parents, siblings, bosses and the world in general and, by and large, it is false information. Hence the conflict and anxiety. We try to live untruths which go against our better selves which we know, deep down, to be our true selves. I believe that so much anxiety is caused by this inner conflict. To conform; to be as others; to crave the acceptance of our fellows and to look up to the so called 'strong' people who, when it comes down to it, are a lot weaker than you who know what it is like to suffer but have survived in spite of it.  Live your life. Be kind and compassionate; to yourself and others, if you do you can do no wrong and will be at peace with yourself. "Give no thought for the morrow, it will take care of itself". Remember?       Jon.

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Hi. Magy.

Apeirophobia is the fear of eternity.  This fear is often connected with thanatophobia, Fear of dying. Since many sufferers would believe that eternity follows life, especially learning that afterlife would never end. Believers in reincarnation  may not associate eternity fear with death. People with apeirophobia may suffer some symptoms, like obsessive thoughts about the nature of eternity, loss of control and focus, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Treating apeirophobia is often difficult. One method in treating it is focusing on their life and not worry about dying. It is more often than not that professional therapists may need to modify the sufferer's emotions, and this is most effectively done using CBT.

Now where has this idea come from? When did you first hear about it or is it something deep in your unconscious? You are asking unanswerable questions, and as with such questions, you are going round in circles. A deep faith in God, or the afterlife carries many through anxiety, but they don't constantly dwell on it. 

One method in treating it is focusing on their life and not worry about dying.

I have to repeat that because it's so important. You need help with this and I do suggest CBT as a good way. But, more importantly. LIVE and stop dwelling on something to which you will never find a satisfactory answer. Perhaps I should qualify that and say you MAY finds an answer in religious belief. But that is faith in something unseen, and has to be felt within.       Jon.

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Therapy is not my thing. i'm not religious.

Fine Magy. You have decided to 'go it alone', well, all I can say is good luck. Therapy is designed to help you. Do you think you have enough experience or knowledge to allow you to 'do it alone'? Do you feel that the desire of others to help is an intrusion?

This site is all about mutual help. "Better Together". You know you will find it difficult to travel this road alone. Very difficult. When I had GAD I welcomed help from wherever it came, and I learned to sort the good help from the not so good. Don't deny yourself the chance to reach out. So many with the necessary experience can help you. Give them a chance.    Jon.

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Hi Magy:)We all try to help in our own way. agree with jonathan but it's ok to do things at your own pace.You will reach out if and when the time is right for you:)gl

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Absolutely Lucid. 'When the time is right'. There comes a time in all this when we just have to seek help. When we come to the end of our tether and realise there is no way we can do it without help then it will happen. But we have to be willing and be prepared to work at it. How often do we get really sick of ourselves? I know I did. We call ourselves all sorts of names until we realise that we have to be kind to ourselves; nurture ourselves, then we begin to get the hang of anxiety. But I also realised that, had I tackled the problem earlier, I could have saved myself much suffering. All the life signs were there but I ignored them and finished up in real trouble. Young people should take note of this because they have the opportunity to live an anxiety free life, although, of course we can't  eliminate it completely. It can be a useful emotion if we are in danger.           Jon.

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It took me a long time to seek help as I thought i would be OK and I'd get through it.  It then got so bad that I had to seek help, I didn't have the tools.  IMO, therapy is essential.  

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I tried it alone too, but I was spiralling more and more in the abyss of GAD and depression. It is hard for some people to reach for help but help is there in many forms. Recently, I saw one of my close friend become more and more depress, I try so hard to help him to go and seek some help, therapist, support group, doctor, but he never did anything, It is like he doesnt want to help himself, it's frustrating because I know help is there and he can get better, obviously for him and many others (including me) going alone is not the best way to go.

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Hi Pistol.

A lot of the problem is shame. We often feel ashamed to admit we have a nervous problem, especially men. Women are so much better at seeking help than men. The old 'macho' image dies hard. "ME DEPRESSED?? It's not 'manly' to be depressed. Us men must show the poor little lady how strong we can be. We must never appear weak or without all the answers". What utter rubbish!!!! The day I sat down and had a good cry was the day I arrived. Still do now and then. So?? God! When I look around the world it's enough to make a Saint weep!

It is like he doesnt want to help himself, it's frustrating because I know help is there and he can get better, obviously for him and many others (including me) going alone is not the best way to go.

Exactly! You see that's it isn't it? Going alone is not necessary and a big no no in anxiety. I am glad you are here and recognise that fact because help is always available. It never ceases to surprise me how a word, a gesture, a smile or just listening in silence can make an anxious or depressed  person lift up just a little. But along with that we need to feel wanted, loved, understood. This is very difficult for those who have no understanding of what anxiety is like, but many do help. 

 

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A man and a woman are driving in separate vehicles. They both get lost. Who stops and ask for directions first?:)

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I bet a pound the woman!! Men do not get lost!! It's like a Rolls Royce. They NEVER breakdown. They may 'fail to proceed', but break down! Never!! A man has to be right. How many men do you know who would admit to being wrong? When counselling women are so much better as patients. They will tell you more in two sessions that a man will in ten.

I remember one guy who came for six sessions and it would appear that nothing was wrong and no real cause for his anxiety could be found. As he left the room after the sixth session he turned and said, "Oh, by the way, my wife left me six weeks ago". He was ashamed to admit to what he considered failure. If only men would admit to their feminine side, which they all have, just as a woman has her masculine side, than half the male arrogance would disappear. Is there any hope for us guys? Of course there is, and there are many good and decent ones among us. But I do wish they wouldn't be so pushy and know it all and treat women as if they are less intelligent.

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When I feel anxious about death or even the mystery of life itself, I really like to listen to Alan Watts, he wrote many books and you have a lot of audio recording on youtube. I suggest  you just try to listen to him, listnening to him have a calming effect on me. Hopefully he can comfort you aswell.

 

 

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Hello LovingLawliet:  Death anxiety is an extremely common issue for many people, especially those who have health anxiety. It is at the root of most anxieties. I have struggled with it many times over the years, and it seems to come and go in waves for me. My previous profession required that I was expected to risk my life every single day at work. It became something I didn't even notice anymore, until AFTER I retired. Then the old fear of death fears that I learned during my childhood began to arise again. How do I deal with this? First I recognize that in scripture it is written that worrying will not add one minute to one's life. This is how I make myself become a little calmer and try to find ways to cope. In order to cope even further, I use my faith. In the end, our faith, for many of us, is the one thing we have that we can depend on to help us through these tough questions. I am slowly learning to try and live day to day, sometimes minute to minute. I tell myself that right at this moment, I am okay...that right now I am not dying, and I simply try to do something that pulls my mind out of itself - whether it be work around the house, caring for others, or just helping people on this website. I am slowly getting better at it, and I am grateful that I have found some periods of respite from this horrible fear. Ultimately, I believe that it is my spiritual beliefs that help me the most. 

I hope you are able to slowly eliminate this fear from your life. It is hard to do, but once you refocus your mind and trust in your spiritual path, it can be accomplished - it certainly can become a lot better for you.

My best wishes for your well-being. I hope that your mind finds peace from this terrible fear.  Weezie.

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