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Thanatophobia

Why people find fear in death

Story by Joseph Asher, staff writer

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Is there an afterlife? Does one leave their body and travel upward? Does the world simply fall black and nothing occur? These are a few questions that many people who find terror in death ask themselves.

Thanatophobia, better described as the fear of death, is a complex phobia that shapes how people live their lives. Unlike other fears, thanatophobia is focused on death itself.

Some people with thanatophobia are just afraid of death, the final stage of life. Others are actually afraid of the act of dying, the few seconds before death occurs. The combination of the two fears is when the phobia is born, a phobia that plagues the daily lives of many.

Death is an inevitable act, one that everyone experiences, and no one escapes. It can be a pleasant ending to a life well-lived or a horrific stop to one that has been too short.

Some may fear death for religious purposes; usually people question what will happen to them after they die. Whether or not they’ve lived their life doing right by God dictates their fear.

Others are just dreading the moment they leave their loved ones and close friends and cross over onto the other side. Parting ways with friends, the thought of how their lives continue and one’s own doesn’t. Death has a profound effect on people, leaving emotional scars that never heal.

It is the tantalizing thought of what happens after one stops breathing that most people fear. Will everything go black and their life cease to exist? Fearing the unknown filtrates through the minds of those close to dying or those stuck on the thought of dying.

People who identify with this phobia are accustomed to experiencing panic attacks, overwhelming anxiety and overall fear. Such symptoms may be present in people who don’t have the phobia but those who do experience them in a more severe degree.

Treatment for this phobia includes social support groups to help the people discuss their fears and overcome their anxiety. Doctors also suggest medicine for anxiety and depression as well to help with lessening the symptoms.

The symptoms and a better idea of the treatment available can be better explained here: https://www.healthline.com/health/thanatophobia.

If you ever experience extreme anxiety or have a constant fear of death, talk to someone. Sometimes just sitting down and talking to someone can be the best help. Having social interactions with people can help with overcoming the anxiety and help ease the phobia away.

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About the Contributors
Joseph Asher, staff writer

Joseph Asher is a junior now and a returning staff member for the newspaper as a staff writer. Joseph enjoys listening to music and driving around. He...

Alyssa Higgins, photographer staff writer

Alyssa Higgins is a junior at Texas High and loves to watch Netflix every chance she gets. She is in love with Beyonce and aspires to be her one day (#QueenBee.)...

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