Death Anxiety

Death anxiety also known as fear of death, death threat, or death concern is a basic quest for an understanding of the matters of existentiality, which were questioned by philosophers and theorists from early times.

Epicurus (341-270 B.C.), a Greek philosopher was one of the first who stated that our omnipresent fear of death interferes with an individual’s enjoyment of life and has formulated a number of arguments that could help one deal with death anxiety.

Searching for the meaning of life, meanings of realization, annihilation of the self, disintegration, and separation are recurrent themes in various theoretical approaches, which led to the formation of the current death anxiety theories. Freud suggested that fears of death represent unresolved childhood trauma. He considered that since humans do not have the ability to accept their own mortality, the unconscious mind ignores thoughts of their own death.

Death anxiety leads to many, if not all fears and phobias experienced by an individual. Death anxiety was found to be associated with lower ego integrity and psychological morbidity, weaker religiosity, less social support, and lower self-esteem. Death anxiety was associated with having more physical problems, psychological distress, weaker religious beliefs, and lower ego integrity, life satisfaction, or resilience. Death anxiety has been associated with a variety of psychopathological morbidities, including generalized anxiety, depression, hypochondriasis, and agoraphobia.