I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
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25-07-2014, 08:19 PM
I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
I think the worst part of being an atheist is having to acknowledge and deal with the fact that death is real, inevitable, and unpredictable (in when it happens, not what happens). When I first deconverted, I pretty much completely ignored this unpleasant factoid, but now it's sort of crept up on me and hit me at full force.

I think it's at least borderlining a phobia. I keep thinking of the most ridiculously unlikely ends I could meet and then they just stick with me and I can't get over them. I'm afraid I'll somehow suffocate in my room, I'm afraid my air conditioner will start spewing some kind of dangerous chemical, I'm afraid that when I sit in the back of the car if there's a crash I'll be screwed since I have no door, the slightest bump on my head makes me worry about concussions, just to name a few of the more ridiculous ones that keep nagging at me. It's starting to effect my getting to sleep, since they're hard to push from my mind and I have to repeatedly get up and try to prove to myself there's no actual danger, which never actually works.

I hit my head getting out of a car today, I've been tired all day but I'm afraid of falling asleep because of it. And now I'm on vacation, and refusing to go to the beach because I'm afraid of tsunamis, even though I'm pretty sure they don't actually happen where I am.

I know there probably isn't much anyone here can do about this sort of thing. I guess I'm just using this mainly as a place to just let it out with a slight hope that maybe someone else has been through this sort of thing before and maybe knows a way to help me get over it. So many other atheists seem so completely comfortable with death, I don't know how you guys do it.
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25-07-2014, 08:41 PM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
"I'm going to live forever, or die in the attempt"

Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

Wink


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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25-07-2014, 08:48 PM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
Ah, It's not so bad.
I am not actually an atheist, but I am comfortable with death.
For some reason though I can't get my head wrapped around what happens after death. It confuses for some reason, mostly because I can't think about how time perception is affected. (In example, if there is no perception after death, then why do we have perception in the first place? The brain can control time perception/speed of perception, but does that mean that time just stops after death? What happens to our consciousness? How do I even know that other people have consciousness? How can I prove even I am actually experiencing something?)

Insulting me will convert me real fast!
MSBB:
Don't let anyone define who you are.
Me:
Can we define him as he defines himself? Or will he define himself as we define how he defines himself? But, if we do that, will we define him as he defines himself based on our definition of how we see him define himself?
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25-07-2014, 08:50 PM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
The best thing about being dead - indeed one of the few redeeming features - is that you'll never know.


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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25-07-2014, 08:58 PM
I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
I prefer the comparison "it'll be exactly the same sensation you had before you were born". Do you remember how it felt?

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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25-07-2014, 09:05 PM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
Clever. Don't feel bad. Not every atheist is so accepting of death. I too worry about it (even though I know there is no point to worrying). I will have panic attacks in the middle of the night if I get stuck thinking about it too much. I just try to find something to occupy myself with when that starts. If you figure out a way to never worry about it again let me know.

Its all well and easy to compare it to before being born, but you didnt know you existed before you were born. Its those last few moments that terrify me.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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25-07-2014, 09:12 PM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
Just remind yourself that you have to make this one turn count. You can spend your turn on this big rock called earth worrying or getting out the door and living it up.

Can't remember where I heard it but " you can get busy living, or get busy dying, but just get busy"


Be excellent to each other and party on, Dudes!
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26-07-2014, 02:58 AM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
If you are having physical symptoms (Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat etc) and feel like you may be starting to panic anytime at your thoughts then you need to take control of your breathing.

Take a nice slow deep breath, all the way into your abdomen like you are filling up an imaginary balloon there. Hold for a second and slowly release and exhale. Being mindful of your breathing helps many as your body can begin starts to relax and regulate itself.

It sounds to me that whilst once you may have believed in an afterlife, having lost your faith there is now a void in rationality to do with the subject of death and dying which has become an inner conflict because it cannot seek a rational answer. Built within that you have given your faith away easily in the past and now you have to apply that faith to yourself, you have to believe in yourself.

1:Does god exist.... it could
2:Could that car coming down the road mount the pavement....it could

You have used rational thinking to beat and overcome element (1) and you can use that same sort of logic to beat element (2)... It could but as you are still here typing on this forum it hasn't.

If you fear a situation, once it passes recognise that you are still alive and that it didn't hurt you, do this with every occasion.

If your still struggling... or it starts to really impede upon your life (like going to work, responsibility etc) then go and see your doctor.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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26-07-2014, 08:39 AM
I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
(26-07-2014 02:58 AM)bemore Wrote:  .
If you fear a situation, once it passes recognise that you are still alive and that it didn't hurt you, do this with every occasion.

Excellent point. This can even be extended into your past. Consider in the example above how many times this has already happened to you throughout your entire life. And yet, here you are.

Also, I prefer to think of people living on after death through things like their kids, their works and their deeds. How will people remember you? I just want to make sure I made this one count. There are many ways to make your life meaningful. Enjoying it is only one of them.

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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26-07-2014, 11:10 AM
RE: I think I'm developing thanatophobia.
Quote:Epicurus — 'Why should I fear death? If I am, then death is not. If Death is, then I am not. Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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