Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Extreme fear of dying at a young age/selfish of living

So hello I'm 22 years old and I suffer from GAD,OCD, and now lately I have been suffering from depression over the fear of dying(mostly on how I will die and the other 20 percent on what happens after you die). This has been going on for several weeks and I feel guilty for living life when many other people such as classmates from high school have died from car wrecks or other circumstances. Also I feel sad whenever I hear soldiers or people dying a horrible death in a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan because many men over there are the same age as me and will never have the chance to come home to see their wives or family again if they die in combat. I'm just afraid to die at such a young age. I will be seeing my monthly therapist on the 23rd though(haven't see him in almost two months due to insurance screwup) and hopefully I can get some issues to work out with the therapist.

I want to mention I'm a big buff of WWII and lately, I'm just tired of hearing of people suffering around the world and I have put on and off my hobby lately.
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First Helper toodlespoodles
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replied December 20th, 2010
No help then?
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replied December 20th, 2010
i am in my twenties and i'm obessed and scared all the time about dying, mainly because i have a 5 year old daughter and i'm also afraid of the after life. i've been raised christian but i don't have a close relationship with God the way i want to, but i think that is the key to relieving all of this anxiety. i've had anxiety about the same things you mentioned in the past. i think the answer is developing a relationsip with God so that, even if we were to die, we wouldn't be freaking out.
i also think that during the wintertime these things tend to get worse for people who live in a non-sunny area because sunlight really helps lift feelings of depression/hopelessness.
i've also heard reports that men tend to be more depressed between november and february (and during july and august or something) because of the moon's gravitational pull- not sure if this is true but maybe.
hope this helps!
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replied December 20th, 2010
Well, I was not raised very religiously(as I was born in the Bible Belt)but I do believe in a higher power and the possibility of an afterlife but sometimes I just wonder why "God" allows suffering such as brutal murders or wars to happen to innocent people. Also, I will admit I am scared of dying in a future war since I have read so much of it during leisure time(the prospect of dying in a war for me is so low anyway since I am hard-of-hearing). If there was evidence of an afterlife, I don't think I or everyone else with this phobia wouldn't be afraid of death like now. I have searched everywhere on the internet on topics on this phobia and even talking with close people and I still can't find comfort. I value my life a lot but then I just feel selfish living life when many people don't get the chance to.
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replied July 6th, 2012
I too have an irrational fear of death, and I'm only just hitting 18 years old! I had a major panic attack about two hours ago, nearly giving myself an aneurysm (Sarcasm). I developed my own coping mechanism to cope with this, so hey, why not help others! So, what I do is I ask myself what the closest thing to death is, an to me, I thought about sleep. Sleeping is the closest thing to death that I thought I could achieve. Then I realized, "I like sleeping..." and proceeded to lay down and close my eyes. I actually started to calm down, ever so slowly, until here I am, seeing others suffer with this too. So, I guess in short, just imagine sleeping. It's not bad, at all! It's actually quite comforting!
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replied July 8th, 2012
hey german and others, i am 24, i have panic attacks/extreme anxiety about dying also, when i have these attacks it can last for hours, it seems to happen at night, i have accually written leters saying goodbye and started praying excessiveley, a\i have also developed severe OCD about it to, i eat SO healthy Exercise 2 times a day, take vitamins that "will" extend my health, drink green tea all the time. It is Ridicuallaus, i am accually wish sometimes it would just end. So i am with ya man. i keep seeing my doctor, i used to take Valium for this problem, but i have substance abuse problem, so i cant have them anymore and it is so hard. I hope things get better for you.
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replied February 18th, 2013
i didnt experience a fear of death until my dad passed away, he passed away suddenly and i constantly wonder" where is he at?""what is death like ?".. he passed away 7 years ago i was 21 now 28 .... not a day goes by that i dont think of him. Never really thought about my own death until now, now i have really anxiety over it and ocd thoughts about dying ... it sucks because i have soo much to live for. I feel like ive put a timeline on m life instead of just living .. ??
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replied September 1st, 2013
I've been struggling with this a lot too. I don't do all of these things but I'm trying to.

Firstly I recommend a good therapist. Your fears may be connected to other things.

Eat well (lots of veg and fruit), exercise, reduce alcohol etc, these don't just extend your life they also reduce depression and anxiety. (Seing the sunshine is great too)

Also try to sleep more. I'm struggling the most with this, I find it harder to ignore anxiety at night. I play sitcoms on my computer to distract me - most sleep experts don't recommend it, but I need something to distract me from my fears.

Also try meditation to reduce anxiety, the simplest one I know is to spend a few minutes focusing on counting your breaths. Again anything you can do to reduce stress and anxiety is helpful both now and long term.

Happy positive people live a lot longer in general.

Shift your focus from 'not dying young' to 'I want to live a long life'.

And extend yourself to help others. It increases your happiness and it also gives you a way to address your feelings of helpnessless in the face of tragedy.

What I try to remember, is that while dying young is possible its not terribly likely. The newspapers & media repeat rare risks and ignore common ones. For the majority of people its not plane crashes, or terrorists that will get us - its diabetes, heart disease, car crashes and cancer. Being healthy (and driving carefully) hugely reduces the risk of getting these prematurely. Of course there are tragic exceptions to this but they are the exeptions not the rule.

And remember, if you don't die young, if you do make it to your 80s, 90s or beyond, what will you wish you had done when you were young?

The last thing I would advise is this. Today you are alive. Focus on that. Enjoy it and be grateful.

Good luck
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