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Death Anxiety and Existential Angst

breadedbasebreadedbase Posts: 7 Confirmed not a robot

For the past month I have been dealing with the fear of death. I’m not that scared of being dead, as I know that I won’t know I’m dead and it’ll be just like before I was born. What scares me is losing everything that matters to me, friends, family, knowledge, skills even something as novel enjoying food. Being powerless to do anything about it is very painful.

Death has made everything else in my life feel much less important, remembering there temporary status. As a result I pretty much only think about death if I don't have anything actively distracting me. I know that thinking about it won't do any good but I just can't just not think about.

Everyday is a struggle, I wake up with a bit of uncomfortable anxiety. This builds up throughout the day and at around 3 or 4 I can't handle the thoughts and anxiety and I breakdown and cry. After this my anxiety luckily goes down and at around 5 or 6 my dad stops working so I hang out with him and actually feel good for a bit, sometimes I might even be more accepting of death. I wish that the mood would continue to the next day but instead my anxiety returns in the morning and the cycle repeats.

Another related problem is understanding how long I have to live. Hearing older people say things like "I've been doing the same thing for the last 10 years" or "those 10 years felt like it happened a second ago" confuses and scares me being young like everyone else here 10 years ago was completely different from now. My lack of understanding makes me scared that my years will fly by and I'll be 80 in no time.

Thank you to anyone who read this, I appreciate it and I hope you get better if you dealing with your own problems. Thanks!



  • JordanJordan Posts: 342 Super Moderator
    Welcome to The Mix @breadedbase
    It sounds like you are anxious about the idea of death, and you feel that it is affecting your day-to-day life. You mention how your anxiety starts and builds up throughout the day, before being reduced by hanging out with your day. This feeling then 'resets' and you go through this the next day. You mention that distractions help you take your mind off this. What sort of distractions do you use? How long do they help for?

    You've already described how you are feeling as anxiety so I have included some resources that might help you explore and understand your feelings a bit more.  The Mix has an article on what Anxiety is.  As well as what to do about getting help about anxiety. AnxietyUK runs a text and phone line, but keep in mind they might be a bit busier than usual because of Covid-19. Do you speak to anyone at the minute about how you are feeling? For example, a friend, family member, or professional.  If you do, how does that make you feel?

    In regards to you feeling that your years flying you by, do you feel like you are missing out on anything right now? If you are, what is it and can you work towards not missing out on it? I can't really speak much about age, but I think it could potentially be important to focus on the now, rather than what comes way down the line. I think it's also really important to look at things people say and their life experiences in context. For example, when you say "those 10 years felt like it happened a second ago", is that older person saying that time flew by for them, or are they saying that they can recall vividly what happened to them 10 years ago?

    Look forward to hearing back from you :)
  • breadedbasebreadedbase Posts: 7 Confirmed not a robot
    @Jordan hanging out with my dad, helps but crying and letting my emotions out is what really makes me feel better later in the day.

    When it comes to distractions it's just tv and YouTube, just giving it my attention so that I stop thinking about death but I still have it in the back of my mind and don't feel great.

    I talk to my parents about how I feel it helps a bit as they are supportive but there isn't a lot they can do. I've thought about talking to friends but I'm not sure.

    I understand it's better to focus on the now, but I struggle with this because I feel like I'm lying to myself as I'm going to be there eventually.

    Thanks for responding btw.

  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 999 Part of The Mix Family
    Hi @breadedbase

    These sound like some frightening thoughts to have, but I want you to know that you are  not alone. I have certainly heard of people being very anxious about death before, but the good thing is that there are ways to overcome this - I know you can do it :smile:

    It's great that you reached out here, and that you have spoken to your parents about this before. I can see @Jordan suggested seeing a professional too, how would you feel about this? You did really well explaining things to us, so that is a great first step! 

    Also, I am not sure how old you are, but if age appropriate I would really recommend the book 'The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle'. It is all about focusing on the present and letting go of anxieties about the future, it's a really great read. The only reason I mentioned age is because it is a very thought-provoking concept that may be a little confusing for younger readers, but I really do recommend it :smile:

    Take good care, we are always here if you need us 
  • breadedbasebreadedbase Posts: 7 Confirmed not a robot
    Just want to say that I'm getting better, I've gotten tired out with breaking down everyday with my mind blocking out the thoughts, it's getting weaker with my breakdowns being further in the past, but hopefully I'll get better, thanks for any and all support.
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 999 Part of The Mix Family
    I am pleased to hear you are beginning to feel better, thank you for the positive update. You say you hope you will get better, and I really do believe you will - keep going :heart:
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