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Is it common to develop a fear of death?

Discussion in 'Death' started by pres13, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. pres13

    pres13 New Member

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    My trauma happened over ten years ago but over the last year I have gotten more sensitive to the topic of death in general and people I love dying. It keeps me up at night and causes horrible anxiety. I've gotten really into researching quantum mechanics as a result because the idea that "everything is connected" eases my fears somewhat. So my question is: Is it common for people with PTSD to develop intense fear/anxiety of death?
     
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  3. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    hi @pres13, i can't say whether its common or not, but it has been a thing for me. I'm not sure if that is because of the nature of the trauma (mine involved violent sudden death) or whether its to do with generally feeling out of control (and desperately needing to be in control), and knowing ultimately we have no control over these things.

    I was constantly obsessed with the fear of something happening suddenly to my loved ones. if we were taking a road-trip with my little niece for instance, my first thought after inviting her along would be, what if someone hits our car and my niece is killed? and i would run all the terrible scenarios through my head. before i went on vacation with my husband I gave my friend at work a list of all our passwords and account numbers "just in case I die while we're away, so you can give my husband all that information. i can't leave it at home in case we get broken into". who does that? I think my friend really started to worry about me at that point :eek:)
     
  4. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    I don’t think it’s common with people with PTSD. I think many people have fear of dying and death. It’s more anxiety that you’re dealing with and not so much the idea of death. Are you working on your anxiety???
     
  5. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    @SheCat my obsession with death was definitely related to the ptsd. it didn't start until i was triggered. I actually work in a field where I get regular direct exposure to death, and it never affected me in that way before I was triggered. My trauma was seeing someone murdered in a public place, and my trigger also involved being in close contact again with a murderer. With a few friends dying suddenly around the same time as I was triggered, it made me feel as if death was everywhere in my life, and it became one of my irrational fears. it was all very much linked together in my mind at the time. I've worked through it alot in therapy. As I mentioned, i think it can depend on what your trauma is - trauma by nature effects how you view the world. i viewed it as death. life was just waiting for the next death to happen, with the fear that I could not take it. I never used to think like that before.
     
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  6. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    @zebbidee Sorry about what you went through and yes I can understand why you have an obsession with death. My response was to the OP, sorry I should have made that clear.....
     
  7. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    oh that's cool, no apologies necessary. i figured that you were speaking to the OP, but not knowing what her trauma is, I figured there's a chance that it could also be directly related to death/threat of death. Since witnessing death in person or facing the threat of death is in Criterion A, it seems only natural that "death" itself would be a prominent fear/trigger for many people with PTSD, to a greater extent than just general anxiety about it. as you said, many people rightly worry about their loved ones, especially if they have generalized anxiety. but my feeling is that it could also be a part of ptsd symptoms. just based on my personal experience though. not an expert by any stretch.
     
  8. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    not sure if that came out right - i mean to say that if a person's trauma was related directly to witnessing a violent death or the threat of death to themselves, then it seems natural that death might be a trigger/fear. that wouldn't necessarily apply to people whose trauma is not related to death.
     
  9. pres13

    pres13 New Member

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    Thank you for the replies! My trauma was a very violent suicide attempt involving two of my best friends. They were in comas and supposed to be dead. Since I got them to the hospital everyone blamed me for it. I couldn' walk for graduation due to the volume of death threats I received. Since then several other friends have completed suicide. Now, like @zebbidee , when my c-psd is triggered I get incredibly over anxious over the thought of death. I am in therapy and taking medication but at times it isn't enough.
     
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  10. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    I’m so sorry for what you went through and to have death threats because you helped them?!?!? Is just awful, I can see how you would be triggered by death. I have triggers about dead bodies. No death, but just the bodies. It took me Yrs to be able to go to a funeral. I don’t often, and only when I have to, but I can now go.

    For me, it was all about acceptance that death is inevitable and that the dead can’t hurt me. My grandmother used to scream at me when I was a small child that she was going to haunt me after she died. She died when I was 10 and that’s the day my anxiety and fear set in.

    Death is a process of the living. There isn’t anything we can do to stop it from happening.......
     
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  11. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    its so interesting to me how these kind of fears are similar but also so different for individuals based on our experiences. I am not scared of dead bodies at all, and I'm also not scared of my own death (beyond the desire to keep living and not wanting to feel pain). its the fear of losing people I care about suddenly and violently that has been my struggle. the fear of the shock, the grief, not being able to cope etc. @pres13 I really am sorry you had to experience what you did. it sounds extremely traumatic. a friend of mine died from suicide when I was at my worst with my ptsd symptoms and that definitely compounded it. it was such a massive shock. and so very sad. its one of the things I know I still haven't really dealt with. I hope you can work through it in therapy because death is part of of life, as @SheCat said, and we do need to find a way to control our fears as they won't change anything.
     
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