How do you cope with death anxiety?

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How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby existentialdespair » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:24 am

As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby surreptitious75 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:29 am

Death is the permanent end to human suffering in all of its different forms [ physical / psychological / philosophical ]
There is therefore absolutely no reason to be worried about it [ and you wont be able to once you are dead any way ]
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:41 am

If you can't conceive of eternal life them try to start worrying about the souls of others.

Of you can't believe in souls, then start trying to advance, in the realization that there is no death. Sure we see it, everywhere but, once You really is able to loose your ego, and become a man. then it will hit You like a ton of bricks.

Meditating for 50 years is not necessary because quantum time does not differ a micro second from millions of incarnations when the ego shatters into a zillion parts and that state can withstand it. It has to travel into the darkness of the most obtuse depths of he'll to realize that it has to connect to heaven.

Then freedom from fear is but a shadow hiding the bursts of light allowed to enter the cave.
Last edited by Meno_ on Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Mr Reasonable » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:51 am

How about realizing that it's pointless to stress about the inevitable. One of the first things you should ask yourself when something stresses you out is, "Can I do anything about it?". If the answer is no, then move on to a problem that you can actually solve and stop wasting your time.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby lordoflight » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:40 pm

existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?


Live an unfulfilling life, full of stress, heartache, regret, hate, fear, and anxiety. I've been like that for so long death doesn't scare me that much, the only thing that truly scares me is the idea of a time loop of having to repeat this same life over and over, that is why I don't commit suicide already.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:13 pm

1] bury yourself in distractions [music, film, sex, sports...] that take you away from those thoughts
2] detach yourself from things you most fear losing on this side of the grave
3] go the way of those who choose booze or drugs to sustain some measure of oblivion [or sheer pleasure] from day to day
4] figure out a way to believe in God or in reincarnation
5] know there is always the possibility that pain in your life can reach the point where you will beg to die in order to end it
6] admit that no one really knows what the fuck happens to us when we die
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Silhouette » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:24 pm

lordoflight wrote:the only thing that truly scares me is the idea of a time loop of having to repeat this same life over and over, that is why I don't commit suicide already.

An optimist!

I'm glad to know that you enjoy how your life is now relative to the rest of it, such that sticking around is preferable to the possibility of going back to when it was worse. Now you *have* to be grateful :wink: - it may not be as good as you imagine it could be, but it's improving and you do not foresee it to get worse than how it used to be by your own admission. At this rate, your life might even end up something you actually like! :o

Death is null anyway, it is invalid. Everything you can imagine is in terms of life and does not apply to death - it is impossible to say or know anything about. As such, all anyone ever does is yearn for a better life, never for death, and thus to want the latter is a simple mistake.

existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?

The quicker you realise your dreams (and be honest about how great they are btw), the more at home you will be with the idea of death. Death might be worrying if you need to achieve so many more things before you die, but if you've done everything, sleeping without need to wake up is nothing to fear. Pain while living or dying is to be feared, sure, so avoid that. But death? That's nothing. Literally.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:58 pm

Silhouette wrote:The quicker you realise your dreams (and be honest about how great they are btw), the more at home you will be with the idea of death. Death might be worrying if you need to achieve so many more things before you die, but if you've done everything, sleeping without need to wake up is nothing to fear. Pain while living or dying is to be feared, sure, so avoid that. But death? That's nothing. Literally.


That you are able to think yourself into believing this is great. If you believe it and it works to keep those thoughts of oblivion at bay, more power to you. But it goes without saying that for lots and lots and lots others it's not enough.

Forget your dreams. There are all of the things that you love in life. And all of the things that bring you fulfilment and satisfaction. The food you eat, the love you feel, the sex you have, the music and art and creativity you thrive on.

And all the rest of the good things in your life.

They're gone. Gone forever and and ever and ever if you are an atheist.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Silhouette » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:22 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Silhouette wrote:The quicker you realise your dreams (and be honest about how great they are btw), the more at home you will be with the idea of death. Death might be worrying if you need to achieve so many more things before you die, but if you've done everything, sleeping without need to wake up is nothing to fear. Pain while living or dying is to be feared, sure, so avoid that. But death? That's nothing. Literally.


That you are able to think yourself into believing this is great. If you believe it and it works to keep those thoughts of oblivion at bay, more power to you.

It occurred to me that this was the only thing standing in my way if I seriously thought about it, but fair enough if it doesn't apply to most.

I actually liked your response btw, very honest.

iambiguous wrote:They're gone. Gone forever and and ever and ever if you are an atheist.

That's fine, if you're happy with what you got - all the better. If you're not, then you will lack the ability to care so the answer to "who cares?" is not you.

Tbh, the worst part is always the people you leave behind. If you've been to funerals, you will notice that all the alive people care but the dead person does not. Death sucks for living people, that much is extremely unfortunate and cannot be avoided. The upside is that that's the worst that it can get when it comes to you personally.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:20 am

Again I have to reiterate for my own piece of mind , that not only Is it not worthless to think through assumptions such as this problem ,but, its a waste of time as well , to put to rest, the idea that thinking of them, is a waste .. The idea that death is to be feared, is a good start for an investigation , is worth while for the following: Such thoughts are based on underlying assumptions, which regress eternally into the cave we allege we came from


The contrary assumption relating to where we are heading could just as well be entertained , from where we have come from and to where we are heading towards.

This is not really contrary of how we use evolutionary sense, because
we are always moving. We can't sit still, and even when we think we are, we are moving at inconceivable velocity at uncertain directions through the universe.

Let that plane of a startup be the entry point.

Only when contrary logic is resolved can we asses some kind of relative merging of at least an aesthetic of higher consciousness.

Is this sensible? Sure, doesent evolutionary progression mean anything? I think disallowing possibility over necessity will we not slice an atheist from a believer into at least an50/50 chance, on repetitious cycles of recreatng at least a modicum of possibility?

When that minimal of possobility is denied as well, then preferential bias discards and excludes anything but it's own prescribed notion on the very most primary bases , patently insistimg on the most primary notions of the ego, that we are so earnestly trying to negate as well.
The circularity of that way of thinking is as pernicious and tentative as well, the very method by which Saint Anselm is accused of circular thinking .
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Mowk » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:50 am

existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?


What are you doing now? You aren't dead. Keep doing it, cause what ever your anxiety is, it has prevented that from happening. Rinse, repeat. It really never gets dull. But you do get use to it. Until you don't.

Nothing you can do about it. It's a waste of time to fret over it. Reasonable from the Mr. man with reason.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:09 pm

Silhouette wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
That you are able to think yourself into believing this is great. If you believe it and it works to keep those thoughts of oblivion at bay, more power to you.

It occurred to me that this was the only thing standing in my way if I seriously thought about it, but fair enough if it doesn't apply to most.

I actually liked your response btw, very honest.


From my frame of mind, "what applies to us" regarding relationships of this sort is more or less an existential contraption. We think something is true here and now but in a world awash in contingency, chance and change, any new experience, new relationship or access to a new idea, can precipitate a new frame of mind in which we think that something else applies to us instead.

Then it comes down to being able to demonstrtate that it is in turn applicable to all others who wish to be thought of as rational human beings.

iambiguous wrote:They're gone. Gone forever and and ever and ever if you are an atheist.


Silhouette wrote: That's fine, if you're happy with what you got - all the better. If you're not, then you will lack the ability to care so the answer to "who cares?" is not you.


Okay, as long as you recognize how "that's fine" is always subject to change given my point above. It may not be fine tomorrow or next month or next year. And I suspect that there is not a philosophical argument around able to determine if "that's fine" ought to be applicable to all rational men and women. It's just another existential contraption to me, rooted in "I" rooted in dasein.

Unless of course I'm wrong. But how exactly would I -- would anyone -- go about determining that?

Silhouette wrote: Tbh, the worst part is always the people you leave behind. If you've been to funerals, you will notice that all the alive people care but the dead person does not. Death sucks for living people, that much is extremely unfortunate and cannot be avoided. The upside is that that's the worst that it can get when it comes to you personally.


Of course "to be honest" here is just another subjective fabrication embedded in the existential contraption that is your own particular "I" here and now.

And we don't really know what "the worst" is because we don't really know what actually does happen to "I" once, as a mere mortal, it is dead and gone.

And that, for folks like me, is "the best" hope we can cling to.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:05 am

Mr Reasonable wrote:How about realizing that it's pointless to stress about the inevitable. One of the first things you should ask yourself when something stresses you out is, "Can I do anything about it?". If the answer is no, then move on to a problem that you can actually solve and stop wasting your time.

Easier said then done.

There are a range of degrees for mental issues from low to high.

One can psycho-analyze and rationalize a mental issue if the degree is say low - up less than 50%.

On the other hand there are severe cases, >80% where only drugs can inhibit the anxiety impulses.

As such, it would wiser for one to know where one's Death Anxiety stands. If one is feeling bad and not sure, then it would be better to seek professional help.

Death is inevitable and glaring.
But fortunately humans has evolved with a set of natural inhibitors to suppress and modulate this death anxiety.
At times of stress and other instances [attending a funeral, etc.], the inhibitors may be weaken and one would have fleeting feelings of the death anxieties. This will come and go.

At the other extreme the natural inhibitors may have broken down and in this case, the person would suffer from Thanatophobia, i.e. a serious case of the death anxiety. In such a situation the patient will definitely need to seek psychiatric help.
Death anxiety is anxiety caused by thoughts of death. One source defines death anxiety as a "feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude (anxiety) when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to 'be'".[1] Also referred to as thanatophobia (fear of death),
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_anxiety_(psychology)


In existentialdespair OP's case, s/he will need to assess to find out the degree of anxiety and how consistent it is happening and decide to seek professional help or not.

If it is a temporary phase, then one can attempt to psycho-analyze and rationalize the situation.
In addition, one will need to strengthen the death-anxiety inhibitors through various means and exercises. Venturing into meditation, mindfulness, and others spiritual exercises will help.
Since existentialdespair is an atheist, non-theistic religion like Buddhism could also help. There are others like existential psychology, etc.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby MagsJ » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:05 am

lordoflight wrote:
existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?


Live an unfulfilling life, full of stress, heartache, regret, hate, fear, and anxiety. I've been like that for so long death doesn't scare me that much, the only thing that truly scares me is the idea of a time loop of having to repeat this same life over and over, that is why I don't commit suicide already.

You've mentioned that you've had fatigue in the past.. those symptoms are symptoms caused by the fatigue.

They manifest because the fatigued state puts the body under duress, organs become strained, and those symptoms arise.. mine resurface when I do too much and subside when I don't.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get that time back, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:56 pm

existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?


What is it that they say: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

The way that I look at it, there is only one way to cope. Take a deep breath, release, relax, let go, empty your mind any time this "wave" comes to you. Be grateful for the NOW.

Your main focus has to be in the present moment. That is really the only practical place to have it since we cannot really know what happens afterwards. But we can know what is happening now or at least embrace what we do have within our control. Love your loved ones. Be good to them, spend time with them. Let them know how you value them. Love and value yourself.

Sit in nature and see all of the beauty which surrounds you. Tell yourself that if this is it, if this is all we get, it is so much more than enough.

Stop wasting time being fearful of your mortality. Spend it in LIVING. It is a process.

VENI, VIDI, VICI!
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Silhouette » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:32 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?


What is it that they say: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

The way that I look at it, there is only one way to cope.

Why cope?

Not a question I am looking for an answer to for myself, just a question. The assumption is always that people want to cope, but why do that? "It feels better"?
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Antithesis » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:33 am

While I'm not religious or a theist, I cope by studying, if you will, the paranormal.

It makes me think, well maybe there's more to this world than meets the corporeal, 3 dimensional, naked, terrestrial eye after all.
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Re: How do you cope with death anxiety?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:20 pm

Silhouette wrote:
Arcturus Descending wrote:
existentialdespair wrote:As an atheist, I find it really difficult to cope with the fact that I am going to die. I get anxiety thinking about me not existing anymore, or my loved ones not existing anymore. How do you cope with death anxiety?


What is it that they say: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

The way that I look at it, there is only one way to cope.

Why cope?

Not a question I am looking for an answer to for myself, just a question. The assumption is always that people want to cope, but why do that? "It feels better"?


Do you really believe or assume that people actually want to cope? If that is the case, why the alcoholic or the drug addict or the sex addict or the over eater, et cetera. These are not a sign of coping but of escaping to me.

I do not necessarily think that coping by doing what is necessary and positive and healthy will "feel better". It has been said that struggling is good for the soul, good for the human, that we all need it to grow and even to be happy.
It can bring balance and freedom into our lives though bit by big. It is a process.

"No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” (Carl Jung)

It is not about feeling better but about human evolution and survival - one may even say "of the fittest".
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
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