Life is too short to worry about dying > We received many comments about our last Post, pointing out that we had not factored in the fear of dying *. This Posting tries to put the death phobia into perspective, or, the quote the client above …. ‘Life is short – so mile while you still have teeth‘!
As no-one is born with a phobia, it is logical to assume they are either caught or taught. If caught, it is due to something happening that the person could not cope with at the time, so it goes into the subconscious.
If taught it is a case of learning from our peers or close relatives – consider how many children must inherit from their parents fears of heights and spiders, or weird superstitions such as not walking under ladders, and the fears of the No 13 (triskaidekaphobia) and cats (ailurophobia).
The fear of death phobia is no different and most likely can be traced back to an early death in the family, a scary experience like witnesses a fatal car crash, or ill-timed comment during a bereavement. But is the solution lengthy hypnoanalysis sessions to delve into the subconscious to discover the catalyst?
The quick answer is ‘no’. Tonic’s therapists use Solution Focused Based Therapy (SFBT), which simply means focusing on the positive aspects of our lives. The technique helps to desensitise you from emotions of past events to achieve new goals and ways of thinking. We thus work on the basis that solutions lie in the future rather than the past.
But having said that many psychologists recommend sufferers revisit their early years to discover what nasty memories lurk in their subconscious. Using analytical techniques, sufferers are encouraged to talk about their fear of death and introduce an alternative view. It may be found that those who fear death are afraid of losing control or loss of dignity, or afraid for their family.
Of course every parent fears a child dying, but this dread is unlikely to develop into a full blown phobia, unless such a death is experienced.
So which treatment is best?
Like medication for depression, there is no single cure-all pill with different people responding in different ways. But the most important point to remember is that a cure is available and, if you choose to go down the complementary therapy route, there will be many highly skilled and Government approved therapists in your area to choose from.
However, whichever therapy you feel is best, you have to want to be cured. That may sound strange, but many people who have a morbid fear of death actually have found a comfort zone within their distress. The phobia serves a purpose, either helping to block out other feelings or transfering them on to the phobia.
In summary, if you are a sufferer you must break the cycle of anxiety that causes it. So start living and die another day.
Footnote > * A fear of dying phobia is known as thanatophobia. which should not be confused with necrophobia, which is a specific fear of dead or dying people.