*To be --shit-- scared of death*(63 Posts)
Lately I've been having these unwelcome thoughts about death. I don't think I'm depressed or anything but I might have mild anxiety. I just find myself thinking about the human condition and hating that I might DIE one day and I might leave my beautiful dcs alone in this harsh world where no-one
cares will be good enough to look after them. My dad died --he was so abusive my mum breathed a sigh when he died--but my mum and all my siblings still live so this is not because I've been grieved too much.
I also suffer from very low motivation levels
thinking what's the point of it all and I think only the immeasurable love i feel for my dcs is the major driving force spearheading my opposition to gravity--that keeps me going --so I need to get a grip and continue with my studies instead of wasting time wallowing
I'm early thirties,very healthy
although anyone can die of any cause healthy or not These thoughts never used to cross pollutemy mind, say a few months ago. But now they have become recurrent and somewhat haunting to the point I'm wondering whether it's normal or not?
Is this normal?
Any parents out there troubled
haunted by thoughts like these or should I just get over myself?
What do you think?
I had this too, a lot and especially when my DCs were still very tiny. I think it was aggravated by lack of sleep or rather, disrupted sleep and too much caffeine. I hope things improve for you, try to look after yourself as much as possible.
I think it's pretty normal to be terrified of death, I remember realising at quite a young age that basically everyone dies, I was quite pissed off .
We all die. Face that fact now, you WILL die, it doesn't matter what you do to mitigate it, it doesn't matter how healthy you are, the absolute fact is that you will die and you are not in control of that in the slightest.
In your lifetime you will either die and leave people grieving you, or you will see everyone you love die, that is reality.
Totally no point in worrying about dying IMO, it's not in your control at all, live your life as you please.
I also think the long lived thing is genetic, mine isn't good
Have you never noticed, those cultures with faith, don't fear death? Death is a part of the life cycle, it's as normal as being born. People with faith know life on earth is a short part of their spiritual journey.
Then of course, now that we are immunised and have much smaller families, and the demographic movement of people; we no longer die of common childhood diseases,infant mortality is not a common place event, and we have break down of traditional communities, where we we would know everyone in our street and pop in when someone died. Death has ceased to be a common occurance.
It is rare to have bodies at home in the best parlour, with neighbours coming to pay their respects, we poke our dead off to funeral homes and our elderly into care homes.
It's all very clean and sanitised.
People don't see death like they used to, thus they fear it. Fear of the unknown.
Have you also noticed, when some one is ill and angry that they are terminal, they don't die. There seems to be a moment where the person has made their peace with the world, then they pass away a few days later? A spiritual like quality?
AgentZigzag is very perceptive about these things I think. I too am rather OCD, no diagnosis though. I get stuck in ruts when I am totally preoccupied with some thought or other. And I have felt these doomy death fears. I found that ADs like Prozac which are SSRIs really help when it gets bad. So it may be worth seeing the GP, also the CBT could help.
Anonimous I am glad to hear it was a phase thats passed for you. I too am sleep deprived and I can see how this might be related. I have not always been a thanatophobic in the slightest
Pariah "I was quite pissed off" @ this. I was mortified! Is there a stronger word? But it was not something that was always at the back of mymind though. Only recently. It does make sense to come to terms with one's own motality. Sweating about this gets one nowhere but to any early grave [due to stress] I do try though to fill my days with as much joy as possible if only for my dcs sake. Even those with the longevity gene will die.No one lives forever. I know but I'm still scared.
Hollyberry You are right some cultures have managed to dymystify the whole rhetoric of death. People are not usually upfront about this subject and I believe talking about it a lot more and normalising it might help. But how to do that.
For me the fact we livelonger is no consolation.I know I know.I have soul searched a lot about this subject. I even want to believe in reincarnation but I can't. Also spiritual, cultural and religious beliefs e.t.c do not give me comfort. I wish I could be like those people who accept the situation as it is because ultimately,no-one has control of this. But then I knowpeople who have died bitter because they felt that their God had abandoned them.Funny you say that when people are angry they dont die because my dad only die moments when he said his peace with the priest after days of everyone thinking he wouldn't last the night.
Pessary I think I will try CBT. I have an acute fear of ADs though I have never tried them for fear of getting addicted. I probably have some form of OCD as evidenced by some very odd behaviours/thought patterns eg If I don't have my 5-a-day something terrible will happen to me in ten days time etc etc.
In the past I attributed these behaviours to being a total control freak but now I'm beginning to think otherwise.
I don't want to die. I am scared of dying. I am not ready to leave.
However, if I die, my children have had enough of my love to know it. They will grow up knowing love. They may struggle (and I'm very scared of both me and DH dying) and it will be hard, but I really feel like the memory of these few years of being will carry them through. Being brutally honest, what choice do I have? I'm not religious either, so have to find my own comfort about what happens next - which actually doesn't help matters. I envy those with faith but I have none! If the unknown is the scariest thing, then death becomes something to fear... BUT you can give yourself peace of mind that whatever happens beyond, and though you cannot control what happens to the living after you've gone, you CAN arm your loved ones with values and skills to give them the best chance.
My DH lost his mum, his dad has died inside (Alzheimer's) and he feels very much alone in the world apart from us... I admire him for his focus on what he can do, his life of creating his legacy... legacy and memory cannot be argued.
op in your fear of death you're not unusual, but I agree with other posters and you that your current fear is symptomatic of other factors and I wish you the best and hope you find some peace, a way of managing your life and thoughts so that you can live life to it's best potential.
My biggest fear right now is living without those loved ones I live for... this is taking slightly longer to find a solution for.
Aldi You probably have eloquently articulated my fears. And like you I'm doing my best to arm my dcs with values and skills to give them a better chance as I do believe it's the quality of life you live not the quantity.
Alzheimer's dzz is a horrible horrible illness. I know a lady who has the same resolve like your DH's dad. It's people like these that inspire me. Because it could be worse. Right now I have no reason to have these feelings and I now realise this acute fear of death is not normal. But yes I can also now see the potential link with other areas of my life but hopefully its not the case. I just wish to be rational about this whole thing to be able to deal with my life as I have always done in the past without this added crippling dead weight. Aldi I also hope you will always be around those you love the most. Good luck to you too.
I think Agent might well be right about it being a reaction to the lifting of stress after leaving your horrible ex. Almost like some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder.
I went through a horrible, horrible time a few years ago when dd was misdiagnosed and I lived in fear of SS (who were lovely, actually, but I didn't know). I found I coped all right when the going was tough- because I had to- but then there came a time when the pressure lifted and everybody was supportive and it seemed like we could leave our worries behind. And that is when I found I suddenly couldn't work, I was obsessed with what had happened, I was having flashbacks. It passed in the end. Just gone through another tough patch, but not sure it will happen again; I think I have more coping techniques now.
CBT techniques were really useful for me.
Particularly the one where you visualise yourself going down a road and you come to a crossroad where one branch is signposted Stressful Thought (whatever you particular one may be) and you say to yourself loudly \\\\\8No, I don't have to go down that one*, I am going down the other road (which has something far more sensible sign-posted), and you visualise yourself actually turning the other way.
Cory How utterly awfully about the misdiagnosis. I'm glad that things turned out well for you and your dd in the end.That technique sounds great. Consider it stolen by me from now.
Agent's diagnosis gave me substancial food for thought. I never really thought these fears might just be a symptom rather than a cause. But it could be. Yes PSTD might be accountable for this and it probably won't be to do with this ex but another ex who was even more abusive than the one just gone. Thank God no kids were involved then! This thread has opened up a whole can of worms for me! A lot to think about. A lot to consider.
And I have never been one person to admit ever needing help, esp with emotiona/psychological/spiritual issues before. But I'm definitely trying CBT!
Dry don't be sacred of SSRI ADs, both myself and my DD have been on them. I think we have genetic weakness here, but I am not on them permanently. I think that serotonin deficiency is like diabetes, its a physical thing. You may be making your life unnecessarily difficult.
I think everyone has these fears from time to time.
It absolutely breaks me inside, that one day I will die and then won't ever see my DDs again
But, on the other hand, in a weirdy way I will be with them, because they're carrying 50% of my DNA
I also predict that by the time I die (hopefully, at the ripe old age of 97, and still spry), a lot of the people I really care about might well already have died, so there will be a lot fewer reasons to want to carrying on alive, if that makes sense?
If DH died before me (which is likely, as no one in his family seem to live past 70, whereas my family are all long lived) then death really wouldn't seem so daunting? Without him, I'd just an empty shell, just going through the motions for the sake of my DDs - the real me, the best of me, would have died with him.
And, I assume I will feel very, very tired, and the thought of carrying on another umpteen years might well seem very daunting, and exhausting?
Yes LaQueen, my dear old Dad was like this, he could have done without the last couple of years before he had a pulmonary embolism due to him deliberately stopping the warferin. Does this count as suicide I wonder?
PP I have it all planed out. If DH goes before me, and I'm getting very frail, and needing too much care (and in danger of losing my personal dignity) then I will most certainly commit suicide, without a doubt.
I will write a long letter explaining myself to my DDs, and telling them how much I love them, but that it's time for me to go, and that I'm going with a contended heart and with a million happy memories
Then I'll pay a taxi to drive me up to The Lakes, to where DH first proposed to me, by Ullswater. I'll drink a toast to us both, reflect a while - and then do the necessary. Job done.
I couldn't bear to be stuck in a nursing home, needing someone to toilet me That would a living death for someone like me.
Would it help to think of death as a transition stage, your soul/spirit/essence goes through, between this life and the next? I guess this stage in life is the bit where your soul/spirit/essence is being prepared for the next life you take on.
LaQueen, I totally agree with your idea. I would do similar.
My MIL used to say something similar LaQueen, in the days when she was still fit and healthy. She is now widowed and paralysed in a nursing home with incurable cancer and is showing no signs of wanting to die.
I don't think it's because she's afraid of death as such: nothing of the coward about MIL. I think she is still finding life too interesting
Which was probably hard to foresee when she was in a totally different situation. So I am making no predictions about how I will feel if I ever get there.
For those of you planning on committing suicide please don't do it somewhere public. My teenage friend stumbled across a corpse whilst walking her dog and it took her a very long time to recover.
Dryjuice, the low motivation and fear/anxiety can be symptoms of post natal depression, I hope you do seek advice from your GP
I used to be very afraid of death, it's hard to imagine. Fear of the unknown plays a part too. You can sort of console yourself by knowing that every single one of us will die, every person alive on the earth will die. The thing that bothers me a little, I suppose, is that (usually) it's something that you will do alone, no-one will be going on that final journey with you.
I have two thoughts about what will happen when I die, and I flit from one to the other, depending on my mood. One is that I will rejoin loved ones. The other is that I will just drift into unconsciousness, like switching off a light, gone. I'm happy with either of those two. I try to believe in God, I pray sometimes and I was confirmed later in life (than usual), but something tells me that the light switch scenario is more likely.
The thing that always makes me sad is the loss of experience. I was watching a program about a brain surgeon the other day. He was describing what he needed to do to perform a successful operation. I was struck by how dedicated and how talented he was, all that knowledge packed inside his head enabled him to save countless lives. Then I thought about how sad it would be when he dies, because he will take all of that knowledge and experience with him. Then again, he probably trains others to do the same job .
Sorry, I didn't answer the OP really. It's normal to have recurring thoughts, but if they are troubling you then you should perhaps discuss this with a sympathetic doctor. I had recurring thoughts (connected to anxiety) than I was somehow going to hurt my newborn. I would take him out in his pram an have images of me pushing him into the road.
In the end I went to see the doctor, he told me that these kind of recurring thoughts were common, particularly if you're feeling anxious.
My advice, go and see a doctor, explain to him how you feel and go from there.
Laqueen I hope it never ever comes to that for you. Suicide is a horrible thought for me. My dear Aunt killed herself, left 7 kids utteryl broken and the suicide letter saved no purpose.They are still broken up about her death years on. I wish you longevity and may you live to 100 or more
Chiggers I hope so too. That actually sounds quite intriguing/hopeful. If there was certainty about what happens next, most of us wouldn't be this scared.Its the mystery surrounding the whole business that mortify people like me.
Can I just echo serin's request never to commit suicide where someone might come upon you unawares? It happened to a friend of mine, tipped her into longterm mental health problems which she took years to recover from.
Cory Bless your MIL. I'm glad she is happy to continue
in her interesting old age.I think the answer is to just enjoy it as it lasts. But its not that simple is it, for most people? Life gets in the way! I wish it was the same for all old age pensioners.
Serin Yes my health visitor diagnosed a mild form of this and I think I am better now.I'm no longer as anxious as I was the first few weeks of my ds's birth. Beforehand, Iwas literary checking baby was breathing every 5 min! I couldn't relax but that's not the case now though I might have residual PND not helped by the fact that I'm not 100% satisfied with my life/career at the moment. So, yes I am vigilant as far a potential relapse is concerned. No medical intervention was given as I chose to bf ds.
Sigmund Thanks for both your posts.The first one is quite poignant for me because it describes the dark thoughts I have and the grim places these thought propel me to and the doom/helplessness they conjure up for me.I hate it. Hate it. Hate it!
How terrible to have those troubling images about your baby. Anxiety can be quite nasty! Most people don't realise this I think. I went into overprotective mode but I think that was exacerbated by the fact that ds snored and I wasn't comfortable with his breathing but now I'm used to his breathing it's fine.
Serin How awful for your teenage friend. Not nice at all. My brother discovered my Auntwhen she committed suicide. I haven't really thought to ask how that has affected him. He was 19 at that time.
I get this too, often no warning or reason, just a horrible scenario or thought pops into my head and I have to try to think of something else nice quickly. Usually it involves someone i love dearly.
After my Mum died a year and a half ago of cancer I started to wonder what the point of our lives is, all her things just left behind, all so important to her but not to anyone else, life carrying on for everyone else, why do we gather all these possessions, invest so much time in things that don't matter etc when we will die. I sometimes wonder how I will die, an old lady in my bed or will something intervene.
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