It’s normal for humans to fear death or the dying process to a certain extent. It is to be expected that death has crossed everyones minds at some point in their lives. However, this thought should come and go rather quickly and you can continue with your day. For some people this, unfortunately, isn’t the case. The fear of death can become somewhat crippling and prevent people from carrying out everyday activities and living a normal life. This is when it becomes a problem that needs to be addressed. In fact, there’s actually a name for this fear now: thanatophobia. Thanatophobia is the intense fear and anxiety of death. Naturally, people don’t like the idea of the dying process or death. But if this becomes predominant though it’s turned into thanatophobia and you should seek help. You must seek the help of a mental health professional and work on a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Thanatophobia can be diagnosed in many ways and cases can differ significantly from person to person. In some cases, it can be small-scale anxiety which creeps in sometimes. These people will require counselling, advice and reassurance to free them from these anxieties. These cases are usually simple and easy to overcome. But in severe cases, this fear can become completely crippling to an individual and impact their lives in many ways. In this case, it would be appropriate to the procedure in in-depth counselling, therapy and an appropriate treatment plan. To ensure they overcome this and live a normal life. Please note: this diagnosis can only be done by a trained mental health professional.
There are many treatment plans available depending on the severity of the individual’s case. The treatment will also depend on the client’s personal goals. Do they want to be able to attend Halloween parties without being in fear? do they want to stop worrying about their health and the dying process? or do they want to solve a religious disagreement? The initial stage after diagnosed would be an in-depth counselling session. In this session, the trained mental health professional will ask a series of planned questions. They will listen to you and try to understand and find ways to help your situation. After the session, the professional will create a treatment plan.
The role of religion
It’s extremely common for someones to fear of death to stem from their religious beliefs. Many religions believe they need to behave in certain ways, possess certain morals and values and refrain from specific things (whether it’s pork or sexual intercourse before marriage). You taught that there is life after death if you follow the correct behaviours. Consequently, if any of these beliefs are broken they will be subject to hell after death. They fear that any mistakes or deviations may cause them to be eternally condemned. This leads to many anxieties from people of different religions. Particularly if they happen to be going through a period of questioning. Some people may have been sure they know what will happen after death but now worry they are wrong.
On the contrary, some religious views can also help a person overcome their fear of death. By believing there is life after death in reincarnation and afterlife. So as you can probably see the cases are so varied. And people will require more help than others. Religious beliefs are extremely personalised and can be an intimate topic. Of course, the professional is not always going to be aware of every person’s religious beliefs. That’s why the therapy session will help them to understand a person’s beliefs and need. And they can formulate an appropriate plan to help this individual. We do recommend if the fear of death is solely from religious beliefs it would be more helpful to find a professional with the same religion. This can save the client and professional time and you will reach the road of recovery quicker.