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Intense Fear of Death - Some please help me.

Posted by Michael83 on May 18, 2006, at 1:01:37

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS: I need someone's help badly. (Please please don't move this to the Faith section, it's not about Faith, I think it's OCD and Depression.)

Hello everyone, I new to boards and I am suffering greatly from my fear of death.

In fact, to say I suffer greatly is an understatement. I am obsessed with it. I am constantly having panic attacks and my entire body has been trembling constantly in fear for the last week. My arms and chest feel under pressure and I sometimes feel as though I am losing my connection with reality.

My problem is this: I am absolutely terrified to die. I know that one day I must, and although I am young now and in good health, I know this won't always be the case.

When I was a child, I attended a private Catholic school and was taught that Christianity was the truth from an early age.

In August of 2002, I had a breakdown after a bad experience with a girl I liked (I was still a Christian at this time). I thought many times about killing myself, and began to think more and more about death and dying and the afterlife.

After studying religion greatly, reading many books, and spending my nights crying, I decided in April of 2003 that I did not believe in God anymore. This was shock for me, because I was VERY devout Christian before. I prayed every night and bowed my head whenever I drove by a church or saw a cross.

But starting in April of 2003, I officially did not believe in God.

However, the first few weeks of my atheism were a nightmare, very much like I experienced in August of 2002 and what I'm experiencing right now (which started about a week ago). I kept, "what if I'm making the wrong decision?" "what if I burn in hell for all eternity?"

These questions really terrified me because I'm quite intelligent and I have a nice ability to grasp large and far reaching concepts, so words like "eternity" and my curious imagination only made my fear of death worse.

After those few scary weeks in April of 2003, I was fine. I did not believe in God and I was happy with it. I did well for the next 3 years, with only a few very very short (maybe a few hours at a time) "I'm going to hell" panic sessions.

MY PROBLEM IS THIS: Christianity makes no sense to me. I could not believe in it if I tried. I really could not. I will not go into detail of my disagreements with Christianity, because I don't want to fill this forum of OT religious discussion. But my general beef is, how could God punish people for all eternity for not believing in something that makes no sense? Including myself!!

I CANNOT believe, no matter what, if I said believed, I'd be lying, because deep down I know that religion is unjust.

*****And I'm terrified I'm wrong, although deep down, I know I am not. It's just my intellectual humility leaving that gap open that I could be wrong.******

What if I burn in hell? What if my friends (the non-Christian ones) do? They don't deserve that, they're good people just trying to live their lives, not their fault they don't believe a bunch of contradictive old stories.

Currently my religious belief is that I cannot "believe in God," but only "hope" that a truly loving God exists (one that doesn't torture people for all eternity), it's impossible to do anything more.

Has anyone ever dealt with this?

Should I see a priest? (I'm thinking about it)

Should I see a psychiatrist? (I'm thinking I should)

Should I just get on medications until I drugged to the point where I don't care? (I hope it doesn't come to this, I might go to hell for not caring).

SUMMARY: Someone help me, I'm too intelligent to accept Christianity, but I was brainwashed as a child to believe it and I cannot stop the fear of going to hell. It's not my fault I don't believe! I'm just trying to search for something that makes sense.

WHAT DO I DO? This fear has taken so much from me. I failed out of college from it. I can't advance my career because I spend too much time worrying about this. I don't have the self-esteem to meet a girl. And my body is shaking and I'm crying as I write this. This is eating away my entire life. I am currently 22 years old and have been dealing with it for nearly 4 years.

What do I do?

(Please note, I'm not in danger of suicide at this moment, but I am still am stricken with fear beyond words. To the point where I feel disconnected with reality.)

Please don't turn this into a discussion about religion, I don't want to flood the board with a big religious debate. I would classify this post as "Fear of Death and the Unknown."

Would a psychiatrist be able to help me? If so, in what ways?




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poster:Michael83 thread:645388