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I get panic attacks over death

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Agoraphobia' started by Fish14, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    These panic attacks are becoming more common.

    As a person who is very interested in physics, I'm reading quite often about complex and very deep scientific theories. Somehow that leads to me thinking about nothingness, or what if there was nothing instead of a God and an Universe.

    Then I start to panic as I realize no one, and most importantly me, wouldn't exist. I couldn't think, feel, affect my environment or anything. There wouldn't be anything to experience, EVER! (((((Normally reading the previous sentences doesn't make me anxious but when you think about them really hard, it does!))))))) At this point I am sweating, my heart rate and anxiety levels are very high. I get a fight-or-flight reaction and want to run outside, quickly.

    The climax of my attack occurs when I realize that yes, I am really going to die! Forget about Heaven, it's just a lie made to comfort people!! The thought of nothingness is scary enough even if it doesn't happen to me. At this point the anxiety and horror is so great that I distract myself and relax.

    I am very unsure of God's existence although when I believe in Him, I believe that Jesus died for my sins etc. and therefore consider myself a Christian.

    So these are the scary things that scare me:
    • the complexity and weirdness of everything (pick any object and just think about it)
    • WHY does the world exist??? If God created it, who is He to be SELF-EXISTENT!!! This is scary! This leads to:
    • what if the world didn't exist at all?
    • what if God doesn't exist and I will be non-existent in the future

    What should I do?
     
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  2. dreadnought

    dreadnought Lip service isn't really service. Supporter

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    Let's start this way: If God didn't exist, then you wouldn't exist, because you just didn't come into being without someone creating you.

    So now it's just a question of why the Lord created you. Did he create you because he wanted you to be happy, or did he create you because he wanted to see you suffer? Well, he taught us to love each other, so I don't think he wants you to suffer.

    As for how the Lord came into existence. I do not know. Maybe this will help:

    O LORD, my heart is not lifted up,
    my eyes are not raised too high;
    I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me. Psalms 131:1 RSV
     
  3. Netgear

    Netgear A Dog On A Mission

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    Trust in God.
     
  4. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    +3,524
    Atheist
    From your post, I am not sure if you realized the most important point about this problem or not.

    On the one hand you write: "I couldn't think, feel, affect my environment or anything. There wouldn't be anything to experience, EVER!"
    Or the other hand: "The thought of nothingness is scary enough even if it doesn't happen to me."

    The one thing that you can be certain of is this "nothingness" will never, ever happen to you. This is 100% guaranteed. Inevitable. Because in this case there will be no "you" for it to happen to.

    If you are aware of this undenyable fact, you should also be aware that your fear is unreasonable. But you may know that. Most phobiae are irrational, even if there can literally be no other fear more irrational than this one.

    So if you have realized this, and it still drives you to panic attacks... seek professional help.
     
  5. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  6. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  7. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  8. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  9. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    deleted
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  10. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    If I could trust better in God, only the problem of His existence remains and can be dismissed as you said. I am very skeptical and require "blind faith" to believe in God.
     
  11. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    Experiencing nothingness wouldn't be scary and isn't even possible. The scary thing is not experiencing anything. That isn't self-contradicting and nothingness doesn't "happen" to me, it is the end of my life.
    As others have said the only option is probably to trust God. (I know that but I felt like I still needed help on this.) Then the problem of death is eliminated as I believe I will go to Heaven.
     
  12. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    A "devil's advocate" could say that the stories in NT are embellished or the prophecies are interpreted inproperly.
     
  13. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    Everyone believes that they are going to Heaven and Hell is for others.
     
  14. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    +3,524
    Atheist
    Hm... how can not experiencing anything be scary? "Scary" would be an experience, and so by being scared of not-experiencing-anything, you would experience something.

    That IS self-contradicting. ;)

    And wouldn't there still have to be "something" to "not exerience anything"?
    I would say that this is simply inventing a solution for a problem instead of realizing that there simply is no problem. But if it helps you...
     
  15. dreadnought

    dreadnought Lip service isn't really service. Supporter

    +3,408
    United States
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    Try this test: Do as Paul taught: Pray constantly (1 Thess 5:17). Listen closely to what the Lord tells you. Always follow his instructions. Then, see if there is even one problem that he doesn't solve for you.
     
  16. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    Supposing there's no Heaven/new earth:
    I won't be anxious when I'm dead (that would be self-contradicting). I am anxious now because I will stop existing and I want to continue live. The thought of life ending permanently is scary.

    There is a problem and God has invented a solution for that.:)

    Edit: I noticed your information says you're an atheist:eek:
     
  17. Freodin

    Freodin Devout believer in a theologically different God

    +3,524
    Atheist
    Well, that is and is not a solution to your problem.

    You fear the ending of (your) existence... and your "solution" is to assume that there will be no ending of existence. That may alleviate your fear for now.

    But it doesn't solve the general problem... because as long as you do exist, there is the option of non-existence. And so your fear will never go away.

    So ultimately, for your fear, it doesn't matter if there is a Heaven/new earth/afterlife, or if there is not.
    The only real solution is the realization that non-existence is nothing to fear.

    Indeed. But that has almost nothing to do with the solution for this problem.
    The connection may not even be in the direction of "I am an atheist, so I have to find a solution for the problem of death.", but in the opposite: "Death / non-existence is not a problem, so I don't have to find a theistic or atheistic solution for it."

    Atheists are often asked how life can have a "meaning" if it is limited. The answer, in line with this thread's question, is of course: as long as there is life, there is meaning. Without life, the question for "meaning" has no meaning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  18. DawnStar

    DawnStar Pragmatist

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    I am not an atheist myself but I will say that I have not met many atheists who are anxious. On the other hand I have met many Christians who are anxious and always seem to be worried about one thing or another because of their need to have every action in their life approved by God.
     
  19. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    It should be clear to all that death is very scary. I don't believe you have really understood how scary it is.

    Think, for example, that there was nothing. Not only no spacetime but no laws of physics either. To me this thought is for some reason very frightening. The way the universe's size is limited is scary, also.

    But what if in addition, there is no God in control of all this? AAAAAAAA! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And being dead doesn't make me anxious, the thought of it does.
     
  20. Fish14

    Fish14 Active Member

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    Be there a God or not, atheists don't feel like they need afterlife. They can cope with the fear of death in an uncomprehensible way. I could even say that not fearing non-existence is a mental disorder.
     
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