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Thoughts on Death Anxiety?

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of anita anita 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 38 total)
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  • #122478
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear chokko:

    You asked about mindfulness- it is an ongoing practice. You start with a simple guided meditation directing to you to take a few deep breaths then listen to sounds, then go back to your breathing. Other guided meditations to follow will direct you to pay attention to your breathing (always starts with breathing), then to sounds, then to touching something in your hand, then back to sounds, and to breathing.

    Further guided meditations direct you to shift your focus from … breathing to sounds, to any body sensation, to thoughts, back to breathing, and so on.

    This PAYING ATTENTION to what you sense (sounds, sight, touch…) and the SHIFTING OF ATTENTION from senses to body sensations to thoughts, give you the skill and practice you need to notice early when you are anxious (paying attention to the sensation of your chest getting tight, for example)

    and the ability to SHIFT your attention from the death-thoughts to sounds or a sight or a feel of something soft in your hand. When you shift your attention to sounds, you don’t think at the same time, so you get a break from the death thoughts and before you know it, you exited the panic trap.

    anita

    #122484
    Profile photo of Nina Sakura
    Nina Sakura
    Participant

    Dear chokko,

    Very glad to hear of your resolve. I wish you the best – do post here whenever you feel like. In case of yoga, you can begin with very basic asanas to stretch out the body. I admit yoga is something I don’t do regularly but I make it a point to strech often now. I often watch lot of spiritual lectures on managing the mind, especially by the Vedanta Swamis…not religious one really, more about combined psychology and wisdom of the Upanishads. Breathing exercises are useful too such as Nadi Shuddi.

    Hope you find your way

    Regards
    Nina

    #122638
    Profile photo of Amandine
    Amandine
    Participant

    Anita: thank you for you answer! You clarified a lot of things. I should really practice that, it won’t make me overcome my fears, but at least it will help me not thinking about it 24/7…

    Nina Sakura: thank you very much, I will search about that 🙂

    Once again I thank you for taking your time to answer! Even though I’m still struggling with anxiety (and lately especially depression), I’m glad I’ve learned techniques and met different points of view. Thank you very much.

    #122644
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, chokko.
    anita

    #123591
    Profile photo of Alicia
    Alicia
    Participant

    Hi Chokko!

    I just wanted to let you know you’re so not alone
    In your fears& anxiety about death. Mine also started around 8years
    old. I had two Uncles die within two months and it rocked my our old world! My parents didn’t explain death to me in a way that I found soothing or understandable. Perhaps in their grief my new found anxiety went unnoticed. But it spiraled out of control! I remember telling them ” I don’t want to die!” and ever since I’ve had an irrational overwhelming fear of death, even now after I’ve worked through my personal issues with anxiety and panic attacks, if I let myself think about death it’s never positive.
    At 8 years old I went so far as unplugging EVERYTHING at night fearing we’d all die in a fire. Eventually that passed. But I have issues with driving, which I refuse to do and I’m 36! I too fear there is nothing after we die and tho I try remaining optimistic and “spiritual” I still worry about it. It’s fear of the unknown. I am at a point where I’m good with my anxiety. I have meds I take as needed. But I think things like this, especially when it interferes with your quality of daily life, need to be talked about more one on one with a therapist.
    I must admit reading forums, even tho I rarely post, and seeing others who relate does help me alot!
    I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Feel free to ask me anything.
    Alicia

    #123628
    Profile photo of Amandine
    Amandine
    Participant

    aliacilynne > I’m sorry to say it like that, it may sound harsh and I don’t mean to hurt you in any way. But your message is exactly the kind I try to avoid when I’m browsing about it on the web.
    It makes me feel even more anxious about my state. You say you are 36 years old… Does that mean I will never find peace on the subject? That may sound egoistical, but it makes me feel hopeless about my state. You say you are good with your anxiety, but still you need medication… How long have you been taking it? Is it a life to live in the fear of death? That makes me feel hopeless. I like to think about that anxiety as a “timely” thing, like something I will stop experiencing because I will find a way to put things into perspective. But knowing that this anxiety never leaves people really makes me feel even more anxious. I don’t want to live a life like that, it’s depressing and feel like it’s not worth living.
    I’m sorry I took your message that way, I’m sure it was not what you meant.

    My grandfather died on the 21th of December, and today was the cremation ceremony. It was a very traumatizing event to me, as I saw my grandfather’s coffin, then the funeral urn where the ashes where, and finally the ashes disappearing in the wind and the soil, with nothing left of someone I used to touch, I used to love. It brought back my anxiety, thought it was still there. I fear losing other members of my family now, not like right now but rather the day I will lose them, I fear I am not making the most of my days with them, and I fear the day when I will lose my consciousness. I sometimes imagine what it is like to stop functioning, and it makes me the most anxious – it makes me feel like life is not worth living.

    I hope you spent a nice holiday.

    #123634
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear chokko:

    It is possible for you to heal from your anxiety, not only to manage it. The sooner you have competent professional psychotherapy, the sooner you will be free from this anxiety that makes you suffer so much.

    I sure hope you do get the help you need. I am in the process of healing my anxiety, not just managing it. I started my healing process in 2011. With help, you will be still in your twenties, maybe early, maybe mid twenties, and living such a better life. Have hope and get the help you need, please.

    anita

    #123636
    Profile photo of Amandine
    Amandine
    Participant

    anita > thank you very much anita. Can I ask you how old where you when you started your process?

    Also, I think my anxiety is striking back because of the mourning process. I feel like it was tightly linked to my grandfather’s health after all… I think I might have put myself at his place subconsciously and so I’ve felt the process of experiencing death as if I was as close to it as he was.

    Also alicialynne, if you’re still reading this, sorry again about my earlier post. I think I was kind of venting and reading your message made me panick. I’m sorry I came out as so harsh.

    #123638
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear chokko:

    I don’t want to mention my age here (you already got panicky over the other respondent’s age). Five years and nine months since the start of my therapy is the only time line I want to mention. Therapy lasted two years. My anxiety background: serious OCD, Tourette Syndrome and various other diagnoses.

    All this time later, and I no longer fit a few of my diagnoses! How is that for success?

    Sure, your grandfather’s death has been an aggravating factor. If you’d like (let me know if you do), I will re-read your existing posts here tomorrow morning and any other post you may still add, and write you more tomorrow. I did so much work on anxiety and am willing to share with you all I know, all that I can share on this forum.

    anita

    #124236
    Profile photo of Amandine
    Amandine
    Participant

    Anita:

    First of all, happy new year! I hope you spent a good time for the holiday.
    Then, sorry for the kind of late answer, I’ve been quite busy with life inbetween Christmas and New Year.

    Thank you again for your kind answer… It really gives me hope to read that. I’m very touched by your kindness. I would really like you to share with me what you know, but I don’t want to bother you with that! … Even though to be honest, that would be very appreciated. I’m really, really thankful for your help.

    #124240
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear chokko:

    Thank you. I am glad the holidays are over. No need to apologize for later replies. Whenever you reply, if you reply at all, is fine with me.

    I will share all I know, over time. About healing from anxiety:

    It is a combination of Insight into your childhood, where anxiety started and Skills to build tolerance to it, to be able to relax when needed, so the anxiety does not take over you. Instead you build trust in your ability to endure it, reduce it, not react to it, not escalate (that is, panic). It is a slow process. It can’t happen over night. There is nothing I can write; there is nothing ANYONE can write for you to read and heal as a result. These skills take practice. Over a few months of ongoing practice- with help- and insight, and you will notice reliable improvement. A few years is what it probably takes to make even more significant progress. You have to be persistent, not give up, practice extreme patience with the process and gentleness with yourself.

    Regarding the Insight part: will you share about your childhood? Did I already ask you this (I went through your thread before this posting, but did not read every word)? What is the nature of your relationships with your parents- as a child and currently?

    anita

    #124446
    Profile photo of Amandine
    Amandine
    Participant

    Anita:

    thank you very much for your reply. I’ve been doing some of these unconsciously, right now my anxiety is very low, but I still haven’t built much confidence into my ability to endure anxiety, but knowing it takes time make me know that even if I still feel anxious, it will eventually get better.

    My childhood was not much:
    I’m very close to my parents and overall family, I have an older sister which is one of the most important person in my life. When I was 8, I had anxiety when I went to sleep, for one or two months maybe, and I couldn’t sleep alone so I slept with my parents and they ended up being fed up with it and I remember being shut down in my room at night, and since I cried I was eventually shut down in the cellar one time. Everytime I bring up the subject today, my parents said it was my fault… But I was 8.
    I remember starting having anxiety again at 10, at night too, but I fell guilty for no reasons, I felt that I HAD to tell everything to my parents: when I was doing “bad” stuff, etc… I remember feeling extremely guilty about discovering my body and stuff like that and I eventually told my mom about it after having a panic attack. The anxiety went away because I started believing in God and I prayed every night (it added to my guilt, but helped the anxiety somehow).
    Otherwise I was a happy child I guess, well I can’t remember right. I had a best friend which lived next to my house until I was 12, and I spent most of my childhood being a tomboy and playing with boys. Things changed when I was a teen and my relationship with my parents became very tumultuous at that time, but I guess that’s normal for teenagers? Now I’m quite close to them, as I still live with them (well at least on the weekends since I study far from home on the weekdays)

    #124462
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear chokko:

    I will read your post above and reply tomorrow, when I am back at the computer, that will be about 14 hours from now.

    anita

    #124478
    Profile photo of Kumudini
    Kumudini
    Participant

    Dear Chokko,

    I share the same story, I had death fear, panic and would sometimes keep wondering why do we ever exist if everything has to come to an end. And to my dismay no one had an answer to this….my parents, friends I kept asking this to everyone.

    Few experiences in your life might guide you along, but still we cannot wait for something like this to happen. I would like to give you one suggestion, instead of thinking about your death try to go back to the stage when yo were born….were you conscious at that time, do you recollect the first time you became conscious in life….I hope no one remembers this. Just take a moment and try to feel if you are scared when you were a kid (with no consciousness) or when you were in your mother’s womb.

    Death and life starts from one point. I suggest find your own answer, I am no more scared of dying for I know its a never ending journey and its I who have chosen to forget every-time I am reborn and continue being born and die again and many times.

    Hope you find your resolve soon. Please follow the guided meditation Anita has suggested, I also practice it.

    #124531
    Profile photo of Amandine
    Amandine
    Participant

    Anita: thank you very much!

    Kumudini: Thank you for your reply.
    I sometimes wonder about the time when I was born, or rather what was before, but it kind of stresses me out because it once again confronts me to the reality of death. Kind of absurd, I know!

    By your message, I conclude you believe in reincarnation? Or am I mistaken?

    And again, thank you very much. I practice meditation with a phone application – it’s easier for me since it’s in French, my mother tongue.

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