Fear of Death

  1. I have had anxiety and panic attacks for many years, stemming from a fear of dying. I have been on an anti-anxiety medication for about 4 years and so far, all is fine. I am a first year nursing student and I am preparing to take A&P 1. I have heard that we are going to be required to perform animal discections and possibly a human cadaver. I am really worried that this is going to cause me to start having frightening thoughts of death and dying again. I guess I never really thought about it, but as a nurse I will more than likely be exposed to death on a daily basis. I was just curious if there is anyone else who has or has had the same fears and how/if they overcame them? Any advice or encouragement would be helpful.
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    About liladybug526

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 28; Likes: 19
    RN; from US


  3. by   Daytonite
    for me, meditating and metaphysics. learning about reincarnation helped me. believing that we live many lives helps in thinking that death is just another transition necessary to move onward to the next life. i've seen many people die including my own mother. the moment of death appears to be quite peaceful and not at all painful and horrid. i believe that most of the "agony" will be my own reluctance to let go. i've had cancer three times and have had to ponder this topic. i'm not afraid of dying, but of any suffering involved up to the moment of the passing on as i believe that at the moment of death all is peaceful. i will have no problem letting go. i have no problem attending those who are dying and sitting with them as they take their last breaths.
  4. by   Sunkissd01
    :icon_hug:Everyone has a fear about dying some time or another and I have even woken up out of a sleep trippin about it a couple times myself. I know it is inevitable but you cannot let it control you. Try reading the book the secret because it has an awesome chapter about death and might be able to teach you techniques for mind control and how to train yourself to think on another level ( you have to read the book to understand). Take care and try not to worry so much, it's not healthy!! Try researching some natural methods for treating your anxiety. I heard yoga helps alot.
  5. by   SeychelleRN
    Quote from liladybug526
    I have had anxiety and panic attacks for many years, stemming from a fear of dying.
    I understand your fear. First you need to really dig down and do some soul searching on what really is the source of your fear. Then you need to desensitize yourself by looking at multiple pictures of cadavers with someone you trust beside you. As well, to get a sense of what they smell like, I would also encourage you to perhaps volunteer at a funeral home or a hospital morgue for a while. If the volunteer idea is not possible, I would notify the instructor and perhaps have him/her make you come ahead of class to view and touch the cadavers. Huggies to you!:heartbeat
  6. by   liladybug526
    Thanks so much for all the advice. I know that many people have a fear of death, maybe not as bad as I do, but it helps to hear that other people do experience these thoughts sometimes. I will definately get the book you recommended, anything that will help.
  7. by   llg
    This is probably something you should talk with your therapist/couselor about. (whoever is treating you for anxiety)

    As you said, as a nurse, you will be encountering death in one way or another on a regular basis. (For that reason, I find it interesting that you have chosen a nursing career given the stress it may cause you.) You may want to work through those fears of death before you get too far into your studies to be sure that the regular exposure to death, illness, injury, disability, aging, etc. will not be overwhelming for you.

    Sometimes, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    After having worked in LTC for a while I no longer fear death. I think, at the end of life, it's a blessing, not a curse. Watch disintegrating people in pain long enough and you will view it differently.