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not just scared but terrified of dying

By Anonymous December 29, 2010 - 7:30am
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I know we are all going to die sooner or later, nothing we can do to stop this. But I am terrified of dying. Always have been but since my father passed away two years ago, it has gotten worse!
I know some say we go to heaven, and I try to believe it, but there is also that part of me that is scared that after life, there is nothing at all.
I get panic attacks sometimes it is so bad. The fact of life going on without me, me not being with the ones I love (although yes, I know if I was eternal, I would lose my loved ones cause they die too). Sounds selfish, but I don't want to die! I need to be able to ease my mind of this.

And the thing is, my father died of complications due to lung cancer, and I smoke. I don't smoke as much as him, but I smoke a pack every other day. Plus I have done drugs-just recerational-not a habit, and stupid things like forget to take my BP pills.
So no lectures on that please!!
But anyone here actually died and come back? what is it like..death? Cause I need to ease my mind.

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Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your question and for finding EmpowHER. I'm sorry your dad passed away. I'm sure that was very difficult for you. Did you ever visit with a counselor, or therapist following his death? If you didn't, I'm personally thinking that it may be a good idea, to help you deal with it and what it means to you. From what I've heard, it is a natural response to a traumatic experience like the death of a parent, to go through a period of depression and questioning. But it has been two years, maybe it's time to get help to deal with your unresolved problems related to death and dying, that no doubt was triggered and brought to the forefront by your dad's death. Everything you do to a certain extent could be related to that problem, and how you cope with it. In therapy, you can learn more positive ways to cope, and possibly get to the root of the problem and deal with it. It's a journey. Would you be willing to try to get past it? I'm thinking that in asking your question, you're searching for answers.
In my own experience, you can talk with everyone on the planet, but unless you can get straight in your own head, what everyone else says won't make a bit of difference.
I've had my own struggles with the concept of the unknown, and death/dying. I remember as a child lying in my bed at night thinking about space, how big it is, and how small we are on Earth compared to the universe. I would think about floating through space among the stars, and how lonely it would be. I thought death must be like that. I would freak myself out, and not be able to sleep many nights. Then I would think about how if I were to die, I wouldn't know any different, and it would be just like every other milestone in my lifetime. You just do it, and then you think, "Is that all that was about? It wasn't so bad." Many of your milestones are about doing something for the first time. I'm glad that is one we only have to do once, and pray I'm old and gray when I have to do it. But I wonder if it won't be so bad when you get there. Many people believe that death is a part of life. Virtually every religion has a different idea about what death is like, and what happens after death. Who really knows? We can't know while we are alive, and that may present a struggle. I have gotten myself resolved with death by considering that while we're here and alive, we need to experience it as much as we can. Living a life full of phobias is missing life. You don't want to get to the end of the path and wish you had done it differently. So what do you think of that?
Bear in mind, I'm not a doctor, or a therapist. I'm just trying to help, and giving resources to help you advocate for your health. It is important to take care of yourself, and I'm glad you are reaching out in this way.
I'm including here an article about panic attacks for you to consider. It says that many times symptoms can be similar to those of a heart attack, and if you get those types of symptoms, you may want to seek urgent or emergency care to rule out a heart condition, and to get help in coping with a panic disorder: Panic Attack Definition and Information
Good luck and let us know how we can help you better.

December 29, 2010 - 8:28am
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