Thanatophobia...Do I really suffer from this?

by Jason
(Maine, USA)

Hello, I am a 27/M and I was taking anti-depressants for the last five years or so and I made a big mistake, I tried to quit them without help from a doctor.
I will tell you, and I am sure some of you already know, that doing what I did can really screw you up.
I was/am taking Effexor XR, which is hard to quit in the first place.
I had the brain-zaps, chills and dizzy spells, but then it all stopped one day, about a month later.
I thought, well I don't have to depend on these drugs anymore.
I wanted to be able to sort of heal myself, not be dependant on medications of any kind.
I slowly tapered myself off of the medication until I thought I could just totally stop.
Well, after the initial side-effects wore off, I actually did begin to feel okay and normal.
Then after about a week I suddenly became very emotional and began having terrible anxiety attacks like I did before I ever had any medication at all, except this was much worse.
I have had feelings of despair and increased insomnia.
I was/am afraid for myself, in the terms that I may not be able to have a normal life again.
I never used to have thoughts of death very often, even when I was feeling very low, but now it's all I can think about.
It hasn't stopped me from "functioning", I can still eat and go outside but I can't shake off these thoughts about death in general.
It has become an obsession and lately I have been trying to find some sort of comforting thoughts/distractions.
I have had to re-start the medication but I want to switch to a different one than Effexor.
I feel so alone sometimes and so afraid, of nothing really.
I have always been a person who believed in life after death, and not just because it's a comforting thought, but also because of experiences I and others have had.
But then the rational side of my mind says, well what if that is all a delusion and when you die, you are just dead and that's it?
So I am kind of fighting with myself and I don't just worry about myself dying, but also about others too.
I really just want to live a long, and if possible, productive life.
The anxiety is driving me a little crazy and this clash of idea's in my head never seems to cease except when I can actually get some sleep, which I take Melotonin to help me.
I have tried St.John's Wort and it gave me very bad headaches for whatever reason.
I am worried all the time and I feel helpless to do anything about this.
I understand and realize that death is something that happens, but what I am afraid of is afterwards, which may sound crazy to some people.
Will everything go black and then I just become nothing?
I am really just afraid of not being self-aware.
I just find it hard to believe that all the struggling of life will lead to nothingness, but how do I know?
Because then that makes me question the reason for being and living in the first place.
I even have feelings of guilt and remorse when I know I haven't done anything wrong.
It's hard for me to sit and write this and keep myself together emotionally, it really is.
But I know I am not alone in this and I do have a loving/caring family, but sometimes my thoughts turn on themselves and I am back where I started again.
For all I know, I could live to be 100 years old, but that would still not erase this deep fear of dying that I seem to have developed.
I think when I quit the meds the way I did, I screwed up my own mind.
I want to live and I don't want to be afraid anymore, that's all I have left to say, oh and thanks for taking time to read this.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to top phobia.