How does one realize physically, mentally, & even psychically that h/she is about/going to die?
The answers can be very diverse from me. I have experience where a car pulled in front of me . . . wham!! I thought I was about to die. I would think mostly mental. I have had instances of diabetic shock where I had to get my blood glucose up over 50 mg/dl fast because I was sinking toward unconscious. The next step is coma followed by death. So, those were times thinking I may die especially because I live alone. That has symptomatology for physical, mental, and emotional. Both cases with realization I am alive I cannot really describe easily. They both needed a period of recovery mentally and emotionally.
I experience panic attacks today once in a blue moon. Years ago more often. Why is a long story, but therapy seems to have resolved it pretty much. But, those attacks were definitely mental that affects physical while maybe psychically was apparent for cause. I dun'no for sure.
How did I realize with the first case naturally I was going to be in a collision, but it happened in milliseconds. Awareness can only be reflected upon as experiencing extreme pain, but after the event. During the event I really have no way to reflect upon it. It simply was happening while I guess you might say no recognition of thoughts, only sensing as it happened . . . I dun'no.
The second is a sinking feeling as an abstract view. I would see those mystical dots before my eyes growing more and more while growing more light headed each second. Heart rate would become rapid with palpitations, sudden perspiration felt at forehead, and extreme weakness. For instance opening the bottle for the glucose tabs is difficult. Standing to do so too. That enhanced negatively the feelings of 'going to die' while awareness of symptoms is overwhelming.
The third case has similar physical symptomatology as diabetic shock, but not as extreme. Adding to mentally is rapid automatic thoughts. Emotionally naturally is panic to the extent of running away and maybe a scream once or twice. BTW . . . they centered triggers from a car collision. Sometimes witnessing a horrific car crash or hearing one really close like in the next lane or at an intersection would trigger one. It would follow being sharply startled.
I have experienced low blood sugar too, and it does feel like you are going to die! The worst episode I had, all I wanted to do was lie on the floor and go unconscious. I worked in a hospital and they knew what to do, so I survived. But so scary.
It sucks doesn't it? :-) There is a stark feeling of helplessness as you shared. The fight/flight response is apparent, but kinda' you said you want to surrender that kinda' . . . I dun'no how to describe it.
I think you have described it quite well. No one who hasn't experienced it is truly going to understand it. Sorry that you live alone, you need to be extra careful and carry sugar with you at all times & a phone!
A bullethole or lots of blood makes it self-evident.
For the elderly, fading out in a way worse than prior bouts of illness.
Working in a hospital for 38 years brought me in contact with all sorts of dead and dying patients.
One was a 12 year old girl who had swallowed EVERY pill in her house - her grandmother's diabetic meds, heart meds, blood pressure meds, a whole bottle of aspirin. She died. How determined does one have to be to swallow over 300 pills? We never got to find out.
One doctor I knew was killed by a drunk driver in front of the hospital. He burned to death. We all loved him because he was bright and friendly and smart. Can't beat death though.
I have seen drug deaths, stabbings, shootings, car accidents, brains spilling out, guts hanging out, old people dying of pneumonia, heart attacks, strokes. You name it.
We are all bags of meat held together with skin. When your brain goes, that's the end.
If you get a chance to realize that you are about to die, you either accept it or fight it.
The ones that accept it seem to have the least pain and stress while they are physically dying. Some of them even smile or at least just relax into it and stop breathing.
The ones that fight death are miserable. They cry, scream, shake, physically fight their caregivers, and seem to die painfully, struggling to take that one last breath.
Both groups have made remarkable recoveries, only to die at a later time. So, I don't think we ever fully realize that we are dying. We just accept our limitations or not, at the time.
Sleep is called "the little death" and we are not afraid to go to sleep at bedtime, at least not usually. Some fear sleeping like a phobia.
Slipping into death is very much like slipping into sleep or a coma. It's the not waking up that determines if you are dead or not.
So, be grateful every day that you wake up. Every day is a gift. You can take your life and enjoy it, accept it, or be miserable and fight it.
It's all up to the individual.
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