All About Thanatophobia, the Fear of Dying, and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling
What is Thanatophobia?
It is a very common phobia related to the age-old human pre-occupation with mortality.
Death is an inevitable part of life but you may find it hard to cope with the idea that one day you will no longer exist.
There may be a number of reasons why you developed Thanatophobia, for example:
- You may have lost close relatives or friends ahen young and found it hard to understand.
- You might worry about how your loved-ones will cope without you around.
Although phobias are often described as ‘disorders’, there is no valid scientific evidence that Thanatophobia is the result of any kind of biological fault or chemical imbalance as proposed in the biomedical models of mental illness.
On the contrary, Thanatophobia is much more likely to be the result of your own, subjective evaluation (what you think your experiences mean) of what happened to you and is therefore better described as a psychosocial symptom.
Thanatophobia Symptoms & Behaviours
All phobias, including Thanatophobia, create feelings of anxiety because phobic objects or situations are always perceived as a threat.
Consequently, the symptoms of Thanatophobia are both specific and generic and may include:
- Constantly worrying about dying.
- Being hyper-vigilant about your health.
- Avoiding taking any risks.
- An elevated heart rate.
- A sense of dread about what might happen.
- Worrying that you might pass out.
- Feeling dizzy or disoriented.
- Having heart palpitations.
- Having a dry or sticky mouth.
- Hot sweats.
- Feeling Stressed.
- Difficulty breathing easily.
- Feelings of panic.
Moreover, you may have all, some or even different symptoms to these listed here and this is due to the subjective nature of Thanatophobia.
Furthermore, you should also be aware that many of these somatic symptoms (symptoms felt in the body) listed above WILL subside over time and rarely last for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
What Causes Thanatophobia?
it is likely that your Thanatophobia is the result of either traumatic experiences or adverse situations that you experienced at some point in your life.
You may, for example, have lost a very close family member due to an unexpected illness or tragic accident.
What’s more, because the Fear of Dying has never been linked to any biological factors, the most likely explanation for your Thanatophobia is the way that you understood and made sense of your earlier experiences.
Is your phobia making you anxious or are you creating the anxiety?
It might be hard to accept, but it’s almost certain that the anxiety you experience when you encounter your phobic object or situation is being unwittingly created by YOU and NOT the thing you fear.
Find out more about the subjective vs objective nature of phobias here.
Counselling and Therapy for Thanatophobia
We can offer you a number of different types of therapy and counselling for your Thanatophobia the Fear of Dying.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had your phobia.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your phobia is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for Thanatophobia on the following links:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Thanatophobia
- Counselling for Thanatophobia
- Pluralistic Therapy for the Fear of Dying
Although all forms of psychotherapy use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Furthermore, research also suggests that the therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
Behaviour Change Framework – BCF
All of our counselling sessions and programmes are enhanced by applying the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).
This scientifically proven protocol clearly defines the incremental stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.
Drawn from the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change (TTM), the framework provides a roadmap that not only gauges the current stage of progression through the change process, but also indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of therapy or coaching.
In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your problems as well as ensuring that we don’t terminate the change process prematurely.
You can read more about the Science of Change here.
Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular phobia and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.
The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.
Fear of Dying Testimonial Wow What a journey. A year ago I started to have panic attacks. I even called out an Ambulance on the M6 as I thought I was having a Heart Attack. I then had a Panic Disorder, High social anxiety, Scared of going out in Public, Scared of...
Applied Psychology Solutions
If you’d like to learn how to overcome Thanatophobia but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.
If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?
Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.
Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before first doing everything they can to overcome their problems themselves.
Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.
We offer counselling for thanatophobia problems for people living in:
- West Midlands
- South Staffordshire
You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.