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I Am Terrified Of Death.

Question:

So, I have always been terrified of death, ever since I was a little kid. Well, now I am in my twentys and it always pops into my mind and when it does I have small panic attacks. Sometimes it will keep my up all night just worrying about what happens after we die. Sometimes it even makes me cry because. I just don’t want to die and I can’t face it. Would therapy help me overcome my fear of death, or is it just something that I need to deal with myself and just get over it?

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

Your preoccupation with death may be the result of several different factors. It is possible that you experience depression and those feelings take you to dark areas of thinking such as death. It is also possible that you experience more anxiety than you should and that results in a kind of obsessive or repeated set of thoughts about the end of life.

What you must understand is that you are a young man and, as such, do not have to face death. Upon reading your E. Mail question, there is a tone of impending death and, of course, that frightens you. Yes, depression and anxiety can cause this type of obsessive thinking.

All of us face death but do not think very much about it unless we are faced with the loss of a loved one or if we become sick with a terminal illness. One of the ways we defend ourselves against worrying about eternity is to be involved in life.

Boredom can lead to depression or can be a part of depression. However, having little or nothing to do can cause boredom, especially if we aren’t doing something meaningful in our lives. Some people look for careers that are meaningful to them, such as becoming social workers, teachers, doctors, nurses or business people, policemen, fire fighters, etc. Others do not want the long training and the school necessary for those careers. Instead, the find jobs in order to make a good living. After the work day many hard working people engage themselves in voluntary activities that hold deep meaning for them. They may work as volunteer firemen, volunteer police people, coaches along with many other types of community activities.

As a young person, you need to find meaning in your life so that you no longer worry about life and death issues. The best way for us to cope with the fact that we will die someday is to live our lives to the fullest.

To answer your question, yes, you should enter psychotherapy so that you can get help in defining your life, reducing your depression and living your life to the fulles.

Best of Luck

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