Thanatophobia – the fear of losing loved ones. At some point in our lives, it’s entirely normal to think about what could happen if a certain loved one would leave this world. Most of the time, people fear to lose their children, parents, or couples. However, this thought becomes a problem when appears repeatedly in our minds – over and over again – generating anxiety and a huge emotional burden. You can’t stop thinking about it.
When an individual experiences extreme fear of losing loved ones, this person is said to suffer from thanatophobia. Although, the American Psychiatric Association still does not recognize thanatophobia as an official disorder.
Both men and women experience different levels of anxiety about the death of their loved ones. Risk is especially high during their 20s, according to research. Many women experience a new peek in anxiety about 30 years later. Additionally, individuals with health problems often have greater levels of death anxiety.
An extreme feeling of panic about the death of loved ones can even prevent people from performing their daily activities. It’s important to know how to deal with this condition and seek help if needed. A person could benefit greatly after receiving professional attention, as there are many specialists with a large experience in the subject.
Causes Of The Fear Of Losing Loved Ones
A person could develop a severe phobia of losing a loved one as a result of a traumatic event while they were younger. Almost dying in one occasion or even the actual loss of a loved one can trigger fear to death in the future.
Other factors that influence the development of feeling extreme fear about losing someone we love include, but are not limited to age, gender, health disorders, and other phobias.
Women are more susceptible than men, just as young people are likely to have a greater fear of losing someone they love than more mature people. Likewise, people with medical disorders like panic attacks or phobia to dangerous objects or animals have more chances to experience immense fear when thinking about a loved one passing away.
Symptoms Of Thanatophobia
The symptoms are not present all the time, instead, they manifest when the person starts thinking about the possibility of losing someone they love. The following are the most common symptoms of the phobia.
- Frequent panic attacks
- High levels of anxiety
- Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
- Stomach pain
- Persistent worry
- Avoidance of social interactions
Knowing all the symptoms helps in the diagnosis of this mental condition. The fear of losing someone we love is not clinically recognized, but informing a doctor of all the symptoms can lead to a correct diagnosis of what the person is going through.
The doctor could legitimately diagnose the person with anxiety after hearing the symptoms. However, the doctor acknowledges the anxiety stems from the fear of the death of a loved person, and will consequently suggest appropriate treatment.
A doctor could also refer the patient to a mental health provider when they are unsure about the diagnosis. The psychologist, therapist, or psychiatrist will then provide treatment for the condition.
Overcome Your Fear Of Losing Loved Ones
Treating phobias and anxiety often focuses on learning to refocus worries, as well as talking about the feelings and concerns of the person. When dealing with the fear of losing loved ones, a doctor can rely on one or more of the following treatments.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of treatment focuses on creating practical solutions to problems. The goal is to eventually change your pattern of thinking and put your mind at ease when you face talk of death or dying.
This treatment consists of trying to create a practical solution to a problem. CBT seeks to put people’s minds at ease when facing fear or worry about the death of a close person and change their pattern of thinking.
People with extreme fear of losing loved ones can find great help in a therapist, as they can teach patients different ways to cope with feelings of anxiety and despair.
Meditation along with other relaxation techniques can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, and overcoming specific fears over time. Learning breathing techniques it’s essential for those with feelings of fear and panic.
Mostly a solution for the short-term. A doctor can prescribe medication to help reduce feelings of panic while the patient also receives psychological help from a mental health provider.
An excellent for of treatment to address and correct the brains autopilot reaction and response. Can prove incredibly effective.
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