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Anxiety and Stress This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Paranoia of death recently(?) Don't know what to call it really - July 18th 2021, 04:11 AM

[FONT=""][COLOR=""][SIZE=""]So I've always been kind of paranoid since I was a kid, and have always been afraid of death, but recently, especially yesterday and today, I've thought I was going to die. I don't know why. Yesterday I thought I was gonna get struck by lightning and crash while driving home on the highway. Tonight, we couldn't tell if a bad smell in our house was a skunk or a natural gas leak. And I don't think this kind of worrying is normal?

And like I don't want to die, at all, but I've felt like I was going to several times. I know I have anxiety and stuff but this feels like, not even normal for that? I don't really know what else this is but a vet post and maybe getting advice about these thoughts? But yeah, thank you for reading-[/size][/color][/font]
   
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Re: Paranoia of death recently(?) Don't know what to call it really - July 18th 2021, 09:54 AM

Hey

Thank you so much for reaching out about this. I can tell you that you're definitely not alone in feeling this way as this is something I've dealt with in different ways ever since I was a child too, and it's awful. I'm have many anxieties, but death has always been a huge one for me and it's given me sleepless nights, so I completely understand that how you're feeling is scary and causing you concern.

For me, the best ways I've learnt to deal with the anxiety which comes with feeling this way is through rationalising things. It doesn't ALWAYS help me to believe that what I'm worried about isn't necessarily going to happen right this second, but it's something I've gotten into the habit of doing anyway because it seems to help my anxiety in other ways too. One of the ways I've done this is through telling someone how I feel. I know that this might not be something you're ready to do, which I understand, because sometimes I feel that way too. So if you're not up for chatting to someone, maybe you can start keeping a diary which you can write in. Maybe you can even use this to write letters to yourself which can reassure you when one of these moments of paranoia about dying hits. If you have pretty common worries (e.g. if I get a random pain in my arm or leg, I'm immediately worried I'm sick and dying), maybe you can start with this. Try to really challenge yourself to find reasons why this fear might not be what's actually going on. For example, I might write "my leg hurts because I've been on my feet all day" or "my arm hurts because I slept on it funny". You could write this as a list, and that way you have plenty of rational explanations for the things which make you worried you're dying.

Another thing I've found really helpful is using grounding techniques. This is because they remind me of the things I can prove, rather than the things I'm worried about which might not be really happening. I always keep a cold glass of water nearby, so that when or if I start to have one of these paranoid or fearful moments, I can take small sips of water, and focus on the feeling of it going down my throat and through my body. You can do this with other things too, such as by having a textured surface you can put your hand on, or a cold surface such as a cold radiator or desk. Try looking for things such as this and focus on what you know is really there. You can also try doing breathing exercises, or taking note of your surroundings, such as finding things you can see, hear, feel etc. I also find that verbally telling myself 'it's okay, you're okay' can help. I don't know if it's because it makes me believe it, or because it gives my brain something else to think about, but perhaps this is also something you can try if you like.

The most important thing to remember is that you're not on your own. I've had friends who have had similar issues too, perhaps in different levels of severity, but everyone is different. A fear of dying is very common, and as much as you feel like it's not normal, sometimes the brain just overthinks. If this is something which is causing disruption in your life, however, and you find that you can't manage this well on your own, there are people you can talk to, and it might be worth having a chat with your doctor, or a school counsellor, and seeing if they can offer you any advice or resources for dealing with this. You're also welcome to PM me if you have an account here, and I'd be happy to chat too.

I hope you're doing okay.



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Re: Paranoia of death recently(?) Don't know what to call it really - July 18th 2021, 12:03 PM

When we struggle with anxiety and panic, it can feel overwhelming, even to the point of feeling like you are going to die or worrying about dying in certain situations.

What do you normally do when you have anxious thoughts? I agree with Hollie that it might help to try to reason with yourself and put your worries into perspective. For example, while it's understandable to be slightly concerned about lightning if there is a storm, there is less reason to be concerned about lightning without a storm. Even in a lightning storm, while there is a risk that your vehicle could be struck by lightning, it's likely to be a small risk. The same goes for the smell in your house. While it's concerning that it could've been a gas leak, you can follow procedures to minimise the risk of gas affecting your health, for example, turning the gas off at the supply or calling your supplier to get their opinion. These things seem obvious, but when we are anxious, we can forget to challenge our thoughts and let panic take over and that's how we can end up worrying that we are going to die in some catastrophic accident.

You've mentioned that you've always been anxious, even as a child, and I'm wondering whether you have considered seeking counselling at all? You may find it helpful as it can help you to learn more ways of dealing with anxious thoughts. Like Hollie suggested, you might also find grounding techniques and mindfulness helpful- these can be done as either self-help (there are many resources and videos online as well as books you can buy) or under the guidance of a trained professional (for example, some community classes may teach mindfulness).

Hope this helps a bit and feel free to keep us updated!


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Re: Paranoia of death recently(?) Don't know what to call it really - July 19th 2021, 01:12 AM

[FONT=""][COLOR=""][SIZE=""]Thank you both, I really appreciate it! I'll look into some of those. I take anxiety medication, and I feel like that does help usually but I still get paranoid and stuff sometimes. But i appreciate all the advice, and will definitely try my best. Thank you again![/size][/color][/font]
   
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Re: Paranoia of death recently(?) Don't know what to call it really - July 21st 2021, 12:59 PM

I used to get similar a lot when I was younger! I'd have nights where I'd be terrifyingly self aware of how I was going to die, or extremely paranoid about unlikely death scenarios. I'm not sure how to help, but I can tell you that you aren't alone!


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