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Death and Fear of Death

Updated on April 25, 2015
  • Those who are scared of death believe they suffer from countless diseases.
  • Some are trying to predict how their life will end in order to prevent it’s coming.
  • Some seek eternity through reputation, social recognition, acquisition of wealth and power.
  • Some turn to supernatural religious beliefs and astrological predictions.

Phobia of Death

Have you ever wondered, why thoughts of our own death are able to “freeze” us? Why thoughts of losing someone we love are so shocking? Why does the concept of death frighten and terrorise us?

The opposite emotion of faith and trust is fear and any frightened person usually experiences painful feeling of hopelessness in his attempt to avoid the phobia. The fear of death is a humanitarian and universal phenomenon present in the minds of people and it is able to trigger the dark sides of the personality.

The scary thought of inevitability of death prevents us from enjoying life and it even can cause psychopathological behaviours, such as depression and panic attacks. In some extreme cases it even can make a person hate life itself, because of the fear of death.

The Injustice of Death

Sometimes people are experiencing death as a personal failure or even injustice, done by medicine and science, injustice for an inability to keep alive those we love.The fear of death often takes both time and space in our lives and we can not continue living the same way. The feeling of death is so intense and we feel like we are under a constant threat.

Nevertheless the anguish of death overpowers the lives of most people and disrupts their thoughts and behaviour. Complete denial of the approaching end of life reveals actually the same feeling - The Fear Of Death. While living our lives we build defence mechanisms in order to be able to handle the awareness of death. But the truth is we cannot get the thought out of our mind completely. It bursts into every nightmare.

Are You Scared of Death?

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Famous Quotes About The Fear of Death

Shakespeare said, "I prefer better to die every hour from the fear of death than to die once”

Socrates asked people to think and philosophise about the matters of life and death and to accept the process, while Epicurus believed that the task of philosophy is to relieve human suffering and he considered the main cause of misery is the ubiquitous fear of our death.

The Bible as an expression of divine revelation of God to man, refers in (Hebrews 2 b: 14,15 ) .

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death"

Woody Allen stated, " I do not fear death, just do not want to be there when it comes!"

The greatest living existential psychotherapist, the Irvin Yalom, invites us not to ignore the death but to work on hardest to achieve: to make a peace with it and confront the greatest human fear.


Overcoming of Death

We understood from above that eventually the fear of the end of life touches sensitive existential levels of a person and critical aspects of human existence itself. Death and the internal processing of death, clearly illustrates the holistic view of each of us about the meaning of life, relationships with world, the finite existence and ourselves. It might be a brutal experience of mourning, but it is important to accept and understand that the existence of death helps us to live better.

The joy, the sense of life, our memories and records of the past, loneliness, despair, freedom, decay, sickness ... lead us to confront the fact of existence and to convulse innermost structures of our psyche.

The treatment of death is the darker side of our existence, and the way we experience the upcoming end depends on how we live our lives. If we go one step further, we will understand that the person is afraid of his last moment and he searches desperately to discover the future instead of trying to shape it.

The inability to control his own life, keeps him immobilised in the same static position. Fear predominates in the personal responsibility and confirms the complete absence of personal freedom.The treatment of death can give a new meaning in life, if we manage to move from the denial of death to acceptance of life and from despair to hope for the future. Experiencing the death of beloved person does not have to result necessarily in despair, but instead, it can be an experience that will wake us up and lead us to a fuller life. The fear of death is basically the fear of unfulfilled life.


Fear of Death in Psychotherapy

The agony of death is always discussed in every psychotherapeutic session. Psychotherapy is a deep and comprehensive exploration of the path of the meaning of life. And since death plays big part in our existence and because life and death are interdependent, it is completely impossible to ignore the subject during the sessions.

A therapist usually aims to connect as deeply as possible with the patient. Phycologist is always called to understand not only the symptoms of patient, but also to highlight and elaborate the inclusive vision of the patient concerning the meaning of life, the anxiety of existence, freedom and etc.. Every therapist is inevitably faced with his own existential questions about life and death through the process of therapy.



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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I do not fear death itself. I have been to the other side. I fear the pain it will cause to others who will still be here when I walk through the door again.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 4 years ago from New Zealand

      This is a coincidence because I'll be publishing a hub about "comfort theories of religion" later today, and much of the evidence deals with how our fear of death motivates us to form religious beliefs. So, I'm glad you mentioned that some people turn to supernatural, religious, or astrological explanations... but wow, what a coincidence! I enjoyed the quotes too, good job, voted up and interesting.

    • SAM ELDER profile image

      SAM ELDER 4 years ago from Home

      Thank you msDora, I always enjoy your comments and mostly your positive energy that can be seen clearly in your work and in your kind comments...

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Since death will come for sure, "to make a peace with it and confront the greatest human fear" seems like the wisest thing to do. Thank you for these profound thoughts on the subject.