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Unread 06-19-2017, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default Fear of death

I started taking an anti-depressant medication a couple weeks ago and in the past week or so I noticed that I have started thinking about death in a way that I haven't really thought about it before. It's kind of difficult to describe, but it suddenly hit me that when I die, everything is over. And it suddenly hit me how terrifying this idea is. I grew up believing in an afterlife, but for the longest time I've been sort of an agnostic and I find it very likely that there is nothing after death. But when I've thought about dying, I never really thought about the idea of nor existing anymore. All I've thought about is the moments leading up to death and the moment of death itself and what I would feel in those moments. However now that seems to have changed. I had a dream the other night that I was being hunted by ISIS and even in the dream I found myself terrified of the idea of not existing anymore. I've had dreams in the past where I was threatened with death and even dreams where I've been killed and I have never felt this kind of fear before. I am wondering if maybe before it was my depressive state that caused me to not really fear death and that now I have the same fear as normal people? Does this sound like it's more like how normal people think?
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Unread 06-19-2017, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fear of death

I think everyone comes to this realization at some point. Usually it's an impetus to make something of one's life while they're still alive. Eventually you realize that it's important to get the most out of life because it's inevitable.
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Unread 06-19-2017, 03:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fear of death

Back in 1993, some cat burglar tweeker pulled a gun on me and robbed me while I was sitting in my car trying to back into traffic. His accomplice had me blocked in with his van. Nobody could see us. There was nothing I could do. I could tell the gun was loaded.

He got $2 cash and my $12 Timex bicycle watch. And then, he decided it would be best that I not be able to identify him. He told me to drive into the carport, turn off the car, and put my head on the steering wheel.

I could see down the barrel of the 9mm semi-auto pistol. I knew that I was going to die. For a brief moment, I had felt some fear. A few seconds after that, there was acceptance and there was peace. I have never felt that peaceful, ever in my life. It was magical.

I did what the guy told me to do. I was ready to die. Then I heard a click.

The guy looked at the gun and panicked. I chased him to the van. Shortly after he got into the van, the gun went off. That's when the adrenaline kicked in and the pain and fear of life returned.

AFTER that experience, a few interesting things happened. One was that I had a horrible bout with PTSD and spent a year in therapy. Once that was over, I came to the conclusion that I was supposed to die that day, and that every day after that was a bonus.

But the most interesting thing about it was my lack of fear, when it came to the topic of death. I started thinking about it. While true that nobody really knows what happens, and I am not a religious person, I came to suspect that it would be no different than my personal state from BEFORE I was born.

Was I afraid before I was born? Did I miss out on anything? Could death possibly be a return to my original state post-birth?

While I may no longer fear death, I do have concerns about HOW I will die. I don't want to suffer, and I don't want to be afraid.

I may have no control over that, but I am convinced that life ends on a peaceful note, completely unaffected by the fear of dying. This part, at the very least, is based on personal experience.

Not everyone has the experience that I had, so I am certain that there are a wide variety of ways in dealing with the concerns associated with death. I hope that you can find some peace with it. Best of luck.
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Unread 06-19-2017, 05:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fear of death

I had similar feelings in my experiences. Traffic had come to a stand still on the freeway in the rain and I heard a terrible sound and I looked in my rear view mirror and I see an 18 wheeler that had jack knifed and was coming straight at me. I had a total sense of peace and just thought oh I'm about to die. Total peace.

I had another experience when I went over some train tracks that I thought were unused (no flashing lights or crossing barrier) and I just crossed the tracks and looked to the right and there was a train not terribly far away. There was that same sense of peace and the same thought oh I'm about to die. Total peace.

I still have some fear of death but I remember that sense of peace. If this becomes too distressing for you or starts causing intense anxiety, can you talk with a therapist to help you process these feelings? Best wishes.
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Unread 06-20-2017, 02:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fear of death

I think this is something we all contemplate at some time, it's part of the human condition.

When my son was born, and I was mid 20s I suddenly became very aware that one day I would be dead and the awful thought was that I would not be there to care for him - even though in all probability he would be an old man himself by then. It was the enormity of the thought.

I think you should not be afraid of these thoughts, they are a normal part of life and the human condition and may lead to acceptance. As pointed out above, we did not 'know' what it was like not to exist before and that did not hurt us.
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Unread 06-20-2017, 06:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fear of death

I'm afraid of these things as well. In fact, this fear of death sometimes fuels my tech obsession that I have because I am convinced that it might be possible to lock human conscience inside virtual worlds or make people into cyborgs to circumvent death or even implant 3d printed organs into people to replace their real ones when they start to fail.

I'm more of an idealist who is obsessed with my ideas, however, there is also an entire community that thinks this way that I one day want to be either smart enough to be a part of or wealthy enough to be able to back new innovative startups. It's called Transhumanism or H+ and there are some brilliant innovative minds that are a part of it and their ideas are fascinating to say the least.

If it wasn't for my ideas, life would be pointless to me. I certainly desire a much longer lifespan than 70-80 years because that just isn't enough time to truly develop as an individual. I want to live as long as possible and see as many things as possible.

If these things don't happen in my lifetime than let me live life in my fantasy world being happy with hoping and dreaming for it while I'm alive because the real world in it's current form is too painful for me.
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Unread 06-20-2017, 06:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fear of death

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarknessIsMyFriend View Post
It's called Transhumanism or H+ and there are some brilliant innovative minds that are a part of it and their ideas are fascinating to say the least.
I'm a fan of Martine Rothblatt, who invented SirusXM satellite radio, back when she was Martin Rothblatt. One of the great minds of our time.

Her daughter had some kind of blood disease that previously had a 100% mortality rate [pulmonary arterial hypertension], so she sold off her ownership of satellite radio, started a bio-technology company [United Therapeutics Corporation], and cured her daughter's deadly disease.

She talks about things like downloading consciousness, and I could listen to discussions about this all day. I'd like to know more about it. From my relatively uneducated perspective, it seems that a downloaded consciousness would be nice, but it's a copy, and I feel that the original me would still have to die.

No doubt, it's intriguing, and it reminds me of something I don't like about death: that I will miss out on what is next.
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Unread 06-20-2017, 07:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fear of death

I had a pre-depression life. This realization of death came to me then and not after.

I remember it as not being relating to any particular incident or time in my life, it just happened. It was rather shocking to have happen. I just didn't consider death (obviously I knew it would happen...) and then, one day, I had this complete awareness and understanding that there would be a day when I simply wouldn't be here.

That's all I can write about it as it tends to put me into a panic. I'm so sorry you're going through this as it IS terrifying.
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