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Severe death anxiety and derealisation (I think) - how to mitigate/reduce?



May 12, 2020
Kent, UK
Recently joined this forum. I'm a little bit concerned about detailing my particular anxiety as only last night it resulted in a panic attack so bad my hands and face temporarily seized up. But it's been eating away at me for the last two weeks, intensifying over the last weekend.

As best I can explain it, just existing at the moment feels like a strange, unreal 'prison', or a dream. There this this sense of inescapability, related to the inescapability of death. The worst thought is probably that nothing I do to improve my mood will actually alter the fact I'm going to die. In a way, it's not so much death itself that scares me as what it means for my life as it is being lived. I'm not religious, although I have sometimes found some peace in Einstein's spacetime theories (that there is a sense, albeit an abstract one, that our lives are 'eternal' in a timeless way)

Because I have OCD, my brain is like a dog with a bone with this issue. It almost never lets go. And none of this is helped by the lockdown scenario - life makes more intuitive sense, and these huge great anxieties seem less important, in normal times.

Is a therapist the best person to speak to about this? I need some novel ways of challenging my brain on this issue. Reading about others with similar anxieties is only helpful to a point - what I really need is advice.


Well-known member
Jul 9, 2013
hi lpalmer....welcome to the forums....iread your post but am unsure of exactly what is your question....i haev anxiety (social) myself and it screws my life around.....i know OCD's too are a big pain in the a*ss......are you searching for some meaning in life.....


May 12, 2020
Kent, UK
Thanks, yes, these issues are meaning-related. They're closely related to my OCD - my brain's inability to settle and be content, the constant searching for answers, not being content with the ones I come up with, doubt, etc. I have medication (sertraline) to deal with some of the associated feelings I get from these thoughts, but have yet to really tackle the thoughts themselves.
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