I think about dying a lot and it really upsets me. I worry about what my kids will do once I am gone and I get very sad about what I will be missing if I die early. If I look at things rationally, I am only in my mid 30s and I don’t have anything really wrong with me, but whenever I get any kind of unexplained ache or pain I always overreact and fear the worst.
Why do I do this to myself? It’s like this daydream fantasy that I can’t turn off and that I don’t enjoy and once I start worrying about death and dying I can get into a sadness funk that lasts all day. I am not depressed, by the way, because there are lots of days where I don’t worry about dying and everything is fine then. But there are too many days when I do.
Do you have any advice for me? First of all, is it within a normal range to be thinking about death on several days of the week? I can see that these thoughts do not do me any good. How can I stop myself from thinking this way?
Donna Hunter Says ...
Thinking about death it to a certain degree is one of the oldest human fears. Most people have encountered these thoughts at one time or another. However what you are talking about leas more to a death anxiety. These pervasive thoughts are there more times than not and they are negatively affecting your quality of life.
It always concerns me when people have a somatic connection to the symptom. you mention that you overreact to unexplained aches and pains. That kind of connection only gets worse over time. The same is true with someone who deal s with anxiety. The brain does not know the difference between same and similar. For example excitement in the body feels similar to anxiety. When an anxious person feels excited about something the brain often interprets it as anxiety and connects the event causing excitement as an anxiety producing event. In your case you are connecting aches and pains to a fear of death. Over time the body becomes more sensitive to aches and pains and the fear increases.
I would strongly recommend a consultation with a mental health provider to identify the genesis of this anxiety and help you develop effective coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety.