How to overcome the fear of death

Fear of death is an anguish that unites all human beings, but it can also take on the characteristics of a specific phobia and become a real psychological disorder. Let’s see better what it consists of.

How to overcome the fear of death

Fear of death is an anguish that unites all human beings, but it can also take on the characteristics of a specific phobia and become a real psychological disorder. Let’s see better what it consists of.


The fear of death primarily concerns us human beings who as self-conscious beings have in our mind the concept of death and the finitude of our existence (which of course animals do not have).

This brings with it the fear of the end and loss of one’s life or that of loved ones. On the one hand, cultural and social factors are inscribed on this awareness / existential condition that can facilitate or make it difficult to process mourning and dying.

On the other hand, traumatic and catastrophic events in which one comes into contact with the imminent danger of one’s own death or that of others that can give rise to post-traumatic phenomena .

Ultimately personality factors , events of the individual psychological life that can cause the fear of death to take on the contours of a specific phobia , in these cases it is called thanatophobia .



The fear of death , when it assumes the connotations of a specific phobia , falls within what are defined by the DSM V as anxiety disorders .

The anguished thought of death and dying can be triggered by the recent news of the death of someone, not necessarily a close relative of the subject, and start to become an obsessive worry that engages a large part of the cognitive energies of the individual becoming a sort of “nail fixed ”that he does not voluntarily manage to drive out, although he can recognize its unreasonableness.

In these cases, thanatophobia must be treated as a real psychological disorder by accessing a psychotherapy course .


Read also The elaboration of mourning, phases and psychological support >>


The fear of death in the “liquid” society

There are also psychosocial conditions that can lead to a fear of death or a difficult attitude towards it. This can often happen in today’s society, the post-modern one that Bauman defined as “liquid” , devoid of traditional and institutional points of reference and mainly focused on individual resources.

It is precisely in this loss of the sense of belonging / responsibility of community life that many attitudes of fear / denial of death can be traced in our contemporaneity. Furthermore, we live in an era founded on the image and ideals of success and beauty that see in the myth of the eternally young body the only winning prototype as if one were to live in an eternal, unchangeable present .

There is little space for the aging body, for the time that passes, we are in a certain sense less psychologically equipped to face the fear of death, we seem to have, today, fewer tools to decode it and to inscribe it in collective rituals , in categories sense of community. This can lead to attitudes of denial that refuse to elaborate the fear of death, leaving it to remain a suspended and unspoken anxiety in a world that feels more and more forced to make reality a virtual eternal present.


Fear of death and the human condition

Yet the fear of death, the dismay that assails us when we come into contact with our existential vulnerability , is no small matter: it is what makes us human (that is, mortal beings and at the same time self-aware of their condition) and it is, from other points of view, something we come into contact with even long before we become aware of the concept of death.

At the beginning of our biological life we ​​immediately experience an alternation between states of extreme need and states of intense satisfaction and fulfillment: every newborn is prey to strong states of anguish when it perceives a state of need and it is this fear of annihilation that triggers a whole series of behaviors aimed at arousing the mother’s care and concern.

We come into the world perceiving a desperate state of need, we cannot provide for ourselves in anything and this throws us into an initially totalizing despair and stimulates us in a completely innate way to trigger bonds of attachment . These are the beginnings of affective interactions, of psychophysical development, in other words of life .

In the same way we adults can treasure the awareness of our mortal condition , of the arbitrary and uncontrollable limit given to our life: nothing else could motivate us to build meanings, projects and enjoy the present moment.

“Dying is nothing; not living is scary “


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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