Scared to Death

by L-Johnson

"No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that is is the greatest of evils." Plato

Are you afraid to die? Sure, most people are afraid of dying, but those with thanatophobia are so paralyzed by the fear that it affects their lives every single day. There a few different reasons that may contribute to this phobia. Many people’s fear of death is tied into their religious beliefs, particularly if they are going through a period of questioning. Not knowing what happens on the other side can be troubling. This also ties in with fearing the unknown. It is part of the human condition to want to understand our world around us, and we won’t know what happens after death while we are still alive. People who are highly intelligent and inquisitive are often at greater risk for this type of thanatophobia. Like knowledge, control is something for which humans strive. Those who fear loss of control may have a high fear of dying and try to hold death at bay through rigorous health checks and other rituals.

Some people aren’t afraid of being deceased but of the actual act of dying itself. They may be afraid of the unbearable pain, debilitating illness or even the associated loss of dignity. As well, some who suffer from thanatophobia are not afraid to die, but are afraid of what would happen to their families. This is more common with new parents and single parents.

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