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Thanatophobia and possibly apeirophobia -- Suffering for eight years

olive_s

olive_s

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I think about death almost daily. I don’t want my life to end. I don’t want to stop doing everything I’ve always been doing. I don’t want to sleep forever. I love sleeping, but it means nothing. I can’t handle the thought of nothing. I can’t even handle the thought of heaven, or some sort of afterlife, existing at all because that’s also permanent. Forever is scary in any direction. Afterlife or no afterlife. I don’t want any of it. I might even have a fear of eternity because that sounds terrifying, too. I feel like it’s such a waste to think about being dead while I’m alive and young, but my thoughts are intrusive and never evoked. I’ve gotten so good at distracting myself, filling my days with work, school, homework, and anything else to stay busy to avoid letting my mind wander. As hard as I try, the thoughts still find their way into my consciousness. Sometimes I’ll be watching a movie, or doing something that I really enjoy, and my mind jets to, “Ah! One day I’m going to be dead, and none of this will be there!” These thoughts used to increase during stressful times and especially when I felt alone, but now even my good moments are tainted with my intense fear of mortality. I know this will get better with time, but it’s so scary now, I just needed to try to articulate (yet another time) how I feel to see if anyone has ever related.
 
FlowerBox

FlowerBox

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Welcome, we are here to support 🙏
Yes I think about this every day too...when did this start becoming a regular thing for you? For me it started after a huge change in my life, I just realized wow...everything can completely turn around so suddenly...sometimes it is really distressing and sometimes I can shrug it off...it's weird..both forever and non-forever are scary :( 🙏
 
olive_s

olive_s

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Welcome, we are here to support 🙏
Yes I think about this every day too...when did this start becoming a regular thing for you? For me it started after a huge change in my life, I just realized wow...everything can completely turn around so suddenly...sometimes it is really distressing and sometimes I can shrug it off...it's weird..both forever and non-forever are scary :( 🙏
Thank you! I'm not entirely sure when this started, so I always just estimate between 12-14 years old. Nothing happened during my childhood that would cause thoughts like this, and I haven't really ever lost anyone close to me, so it's even more confusing that I'm constantly thinking of it!
 
FlowerBox

FlowerBox

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Woah, I have never lost anyone close to me yet either! I've wondered about that specifically...I think maybe that makes it even harder for us to grasp the concept and it still feels like death is only a concept :( I actually just noticed my thoughts spiraling just before I came on here, it usually does happen in the evening for me :(
 
olive_s

olive_s

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Woah, I have never lost anyone close to me yet either! I've wondered about that specifically...I think maybe that makes it even harder for us to grasp the concept and it still feels like death is only a concept :( I actually just noticed my thoughts spiraling just before I came on here, it usually does happen in the evening for me :(
My thoughts are mostly in the evening or when it's dark, too! But I've noticed them start to creep up in my day-to-day activities, so it's starting to matter less what time it is.
 
FlowerBox

FlowerBox

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Have you tried learning about death?
 
W

WhatSarahSaid

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Trying to avoid the thoughts might not be a great idea. Have you tried talking to a therapist? Often trying to avoid a thought just makes it all the more prevalent, I find.

I also have a fear of dying, and I never really thought of my fear of eternity as being a thing until I read your post. I have lost several people close to me, but I feel as if that's unrelated to my fear about my own death. It's just related to my inability to grasp the concept of forever. How can there be nothing, forever? Sometimes I try to think about how I didn't see or feel anything before I was born. But then I worry that there's a chance I just don't remember. I also fear surgery for the same reason... I worry that the anesthesia will just make me paralyzed and then I'll just forget the awful pain. The funny thing is, I didn't have that fear as strongly until I got into healthcare.

Anyway, I definitely recommend a therapist. I really need to find one again myself I think. I just get such anxiety about having to leave the house to go to the therapist, because it usually has to be the evening, but I work 12 hour days so I have to do it on my day off, and then I spend all day thinking about how I have an appointment I have to go to.

In summary, the struggle is real. Good luck :)
 
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